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Local Climate Action Program

Five Milestones

Having state and local governments lead by example on climate action is a key component of mitigating climate change in Pennsylvania and one of the strategies recommended in the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan.

The Local Climate Action Program provides free technical and personnel assistance to local governments that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. In its first four years, LCAP has trained 64 cities townships, boroughs, counties, and regional organizations, representing approximately 440 municipalities across the commonwealth.

In the first three years of the program it was run by the DEP Energy Programs Office and funded by the State Energy Program of the U.S. Department of Energy with ICLEI USA as the contractor that performed the training. Starting in the recently completed 4th year, the Penn State Sustainability Institute has taken over the cohort training and management of the program.

If you’d like to participate in LCAP or learn more about the program, please contact Chris Nafe at or 717.783.9726.

“My administration has prioritized sustainability by identifying initiatives that demonstrate environmental, social, and financial benefits that will positively impact our residents’ quality of life. The city’s staff has also done an outstanding job utilizing the training, technical support, and available resources to shape and improve our future. I thank DEP for supporting the City of Reading in its transition to become more climate-resilient and a regional leader in renewable energy and sustainability.” – City of Reading Mayor Eddie Moran, LCAP 2021-2022

“Planning and preparing for the future with sustainability and environmental health in mind will make our borough and families stronger.” – Shawn Alfonso Wells, Swissvale Borough Council member, LCAP 2021-2022

How LCAP Works

Cohorts: August – May

Local governments are recruited by Penn State professors or DEP energy programs office staff and matched with college students enrolled in the LCAP classes at Penn State University. ICLEI USA is contracted by DEP to provide memberships to their platform for the participating local governments and technical assistance to the local government representatives and students developing greenhouse inventories and climate action plans for their communities. Training begins in August and concludes in May. In the fall, teams focus on developing local greenhouse gas inventories, using ICLEI's ClearPath inventory tool. In the spring, teams focus on developing a local climate action plan. This includes engaging the community in the planning process, via in-person workshops, virtual meetings, and/or online surveys.

Subscription option: Flexible timing

Recognizing that local governments engage in climate action under varying time frames and not all can participate in a September-May training cohort, DEP has offered flexible access to ICLEI’s technical staff and ClearPath inventory tool. This has allowed communities to develop greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans at their own pace and it is an option that will be made available as cohort space allows going forward (there is a cap on the number of ICLEI memberships available to each cohort).

Participant Resources

 Accordion ‭[1]‬

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LCAP Participants

July 2022 – June 2023

 Accordion ‭[2]‬

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July 2021 – June 2022

 Accordion ‭[3]‬

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July 2020 – June 2021

 Accordion ‭[4]‬

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July 2019 – June 2020

 Accordion ‭[5]‬

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“The DEP Local Climate Action Program has greatly increased the capacity of our borough to make informed decisions about the adaptation and hazard mitigation we’ll need to do to respond to the climate crisis. It’s provided a guiding framework we are certain our community will use decades.” – Taylor Lightman, director, Lewisburg Neighborhoods, LCAP 2021-2022

“Our interest in developing a local climate action plan began with an idea to install rooftop solar panels on our town hall. As we explored the costs and impact of that initiative, we realized we wanted to develop a more comprehensive, holistic approach to working to reduce climate change and prepare for its impacts.” – Sid Misra, Rutledge Borough Planning Commission member, LCAP 2021-2022

“Measuring greenhouse gas emissions at the local level is an important way for local governments to understand the impact that climate-altering pollutants have on our communities, and, just as importantly, helps them create strategies to reduce emissions. I’ve seen firsthand how emissions inventories can help develop community-driven strategies, and it’s great to see DEP, our neighbors in the CONNECT communities, and ICLEI working together.” – Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, LCAP 2019-2020.

Final Local Climate Action

Congratulations to the following local governments, who have finalized their Climate Action Plans! A plan is considered final when the draft has been presented to and approved by the local governing body. The next step is implementation.

Local Climate Action Participant Map

A map of the Local Climate Action Plan program participants can be found here: Local Climate Action Program - LCAP Participants. The map is made up of the various municipalities (cities, boroughs, and townships), counties, and regional planning organizations that have participated in the program over the first 4 years of the program. Municipalities are represented in brown, counties in blue, and regional planning organizations in green. Subsequent cohorts participating in the program with the Penn State Sustainability Institute will be added each program year.