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Local Climate Action Program

Five Milestones

The DEP Energy Programs Office offered the Local Climate Action Program (LCAP) from July 2019 – June 2020, as well as July 2020 – June 2021, helping 41 local governments across Pennsylvania that wanted to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Currently, 12 additional local governments are participating in LCAP 2021-2022. Having state and local governments lead by example on climate action in practices and assets is one of the 19 strategies recommended in the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan.

If you are interested in learning more about LCAP or have questions about the program, please contact Heidi Kunsch at or 717-214-4243.

LCAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP).

How the Local Climate Action Program Works

Formal Cohort

Local governments are matched with college students across the state and trained by a DEP contractor, ICLEI USA, to develop GHG inventories and climate action plans.  Via a series of live training webinars and one-on-one technical assistance, ICLEI guides the student/local government teams in creating GHG inventories and climate action plans. 

Teams are provided access to ICLEI’s ClearPath inventory tool to create local GHG inventories in the fall. They undertake the climate action planning process in the spring. This includes community engagement via in-person workshops, virtual meetings, or online surveys.

ICLEI Subscription

Recognizing that local governments engage in climate action under varying time frames and thus may not be able to participate in the new cohort or would like to work at their own pace, DEP, via SEP funding, will also provide access to the ICLEI technical staff and ClearPath inventory tool via a special subscription. Utilizing the following LCAP resources, those communities can develop GHG inventories and climate action plans at their own pace.  Please note that there are two restrictions on the subscription: communities with a population of 500,000 or more are ineligible, as are communities that have had an active ICLEI membership since June 1, 2017.

LCAP Resources

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Climate Action Plans

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.

LCAP Participants

July 2019 - June 2020

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July 2020 - June 2021

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"Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: State and Local Government Resources and Best Practices" Online Forum

DEP hosted an online forum for LCAP participants on Wednesday, December 2. Thirty-five participants joined in a lively discussion of challenges and successes in climate action planning in their communities. They heard from DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell and staff at DEP, the Pennsylvania GreenGov Council, and the Departments of General Services and Conservation and Natural Resources on state resources that can help local climate efforts. For information and inspiration to help your climate action planning, view the recording.

"Growing Solar Options for Municipal Operations, Residents, and Businesses" Online Forum

DEP hosted a second online forum for LCAP participants on Thursday, July 29. LCAP communities tuned in for a lively discussion of the wide variety of solar options for municipal operations, businesses, and residents in the Commonwealth. DEP Energy Programs Office Director Dave Althoff shared information on the PA Solar Future Plan, and then participants heard from their peers at Etna Borough and the City of Harrisburg on solar co-ops and municipal aggregation. The Pennsylvania Solar Center, Sustainable Pittsburgh, and DEP staff then explained the current state of utility-scale solar in the Commonwealth, several financing mechanisms for solar, and a program for making communities more amenable to solar.