Reducing climate pollution, or greenhouse gas mitigation, is an increasingly important job of local government. Like climate inventories, climate action plans typically include two primary elements — a plan that applies to the operations of local governments themselves, and a plan that applies to the community as a whole. Since most climate inventories indicate that local government operations is responsible for less that 10% of the entire community’s climate pollution, government operations’ climate plans are important for achieving reductions, saving energy costs, and leading by example, even if they address a small portion of the total community-wide emission scenario. Climate action plans typically establish a series of short, medium, and long-term energy and emissions reductions goals. In order to achieve these targets, climate action plans may incorporate new measures, or scale up existing measures, over time. Such dynamism and flexibility permits a local climate action plan to adjust as needed, and as new political and technological realities require.
To further efforts, local government has the power to enact and enforce energy and waste-saving measures that apply directly to their own internal operations. Applying energy and waste-saving measures to local businesses and residents requires enacting policies and program measures that members of the community are required to adhere to by law, or are compelled to adhere to because of a range of benefits they can enjoy as a result. Access the resources below for more about climate action planning.