DEC Climate Smart Communities

In April 2022, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the launch of a new initiative, called Climate Leadership Coordinator Services, designed to accelerate local action on climate change by providing technical assistance to municipalities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to current and future climate change impacts.

CDRPC was selected by the DEC to lead the multi-region Climate Smart Communities Coordinators teams for four NYS Economic Development Council Regions: the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Capital Region, and Mid-Hudson regions. The Eastern Upstate NY Territory Team includes CDRPC, the Adirondack North Country Association, the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District and the Hudson Valley Regional Council. The Team is also supported by Climate Action Associates, LLC and Planning for Places

Coordinators provide technical support through the program, as well as assist with greenhouse gas inventories and climate action planning. 

CSC Certification Support

At no cost to local governments, CDRPC’s Climate Smart Communities Coordinators serve as technical support providers and strategic planners to help guide the development of successful local climate action initiatives across New York State.

Coordinators use the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program as a roadmap for providing technical support, including:

  • Outreach and support for climate action engagement, capacity building, education, and training;
  • Facilitate local climate mitigation planning and climate adaptation and resilience planning;
  • Support the implementation of local climate action and projects;
  • Convene climate and transportation listening sessions; and
  • Provide CSC certification support.

Climate Action Planning 

What is a Climate Action Plan?

A climate action plan (CAP), or mitigation plan, lays out strategies that mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The first step in pursuing a CAP is completing a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory. A GHG Inventory summarizes the emissions from the consumption of energy and materials in either government facilities or a community. Using a GHG Inventory as the foundation, the CAP defines GHG reduction targets and outlines a framework for achieving reduction goals.

As part of the NYSERDA-funded CSC Regional Coordinators Pilot Program, CDRPC and its consultant, Climate Action Associates, developed a 2010 Regional Community GHG Inventory. This inventory computes direct and indirect emissions and apportions them to all 126 cities, towns, villages, and counties within the Capital Region.

For a detailed summary on CAPs and GHG Inventories, please explore the links to these CSC Priority actions below:

Climate Smart Communities Grants

Each year, the DEC announces the opening of the Climate Smart Communities Grants from May – July.  These grants, which are 50% match, area available for implementation and certification projects. CDRPC’s suitability team can provide free technical support to help communities apply for and administer these grants.  Check out this webinar, hosted on June 9, 2023, about the grants:

Climate Smart Communities Grants Webinar, June 9, 2023

For full information, include the RFA, past rounds, and other DEC funding opportunities, visit:

How can CDRPC help?

CDRPC provides no-cost assistance to local governments and communities in developing both a GHG Inventory and Climate Action Plan. In addition, we provide no-cost assistance with certification support.

Interested in the Climate Smart Communities program or climate action planning? Connect with one of CDRPC’s coordinators below to get started!