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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 DEP 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 three years, LCAP has trained 53 cities, townships, boroughs, counties, and regional organizations, representing approximately 380 municipalities across the commonwealth.

The program is run by the DEP Energy Programs Office and funded by the State Energy Program of the U.S. Department of Energy.

If you'd like to participate in LCAP or learn more about the program, please contact Chris Nafe at chnafe@pa.gov or 717.783.9722.

How LCAP Works

Cohorts: September - May

Local governments are matched with college students across the state. Teams are trained by a DEP contractor, ICLEI USA, to develop greenhouse inventories and climate action plans for their communities. Training begins in September and concludes in May and includes live webinars and one-on-one technical assistance from ICLEI. 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 offers flexible access to ICLEI's technical staff and ClearPath inventory tool via a special subscription, so that communities can develop greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans at their own pace. Note: Communities with a population of 500,000 or more and communities that have had an active ICLEI membership since June 1, 2017, are ineligible for the subscription option.

Participant Resources

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LCAP Participants

July 2021 - June 2022

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July 2020 - June 2021

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July 2019 - June 2020

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Final Local 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.

Shared Energy Manager and CAPstone

The following communities have participated in additional programs offered by DEP such as the Shared Energy Manager and the CAPstone program in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Performance through Excellence and therein started implementing aspects of the climate action plans they completed through the Local Climate Action Program:

Bellefonte Borough, Chester County, Elizabeth Township, Indiana Borough, City of Reading, Abington Township, Ben Avon Borough, Cumberland County, City of Easton, City of Shamokin, Munhall Borough, Jermyn Borough, Middletown Township, City of Lancaster, Sharpsburg Borough, Etna Borough, Millvale Borough , Forest Hills Borough, Centre Region Council of Governments

Knowledge Gained and Milestones Reached

Media event: City of Reading Climate Action

Group photo of attendees at the Reading LCAP event

(L-R) Heather Cowley, Energy Specialist with Pennsylvania DEP, Christian Crespo, Communications Director for the City of Reading, Stephanie Anderson, founder of the "Reading for 100, Reading City Council Member Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Dolores Martinez, special assistant to Reading Mayor Eddie Moran, Bethany Ayers-Fisher Sustainability Manager for Reading, and Christopher Nafe, Energy Specialist with Pennsylvania DEP.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell met with Reading officials and community volunteers on Thursday, April 21, 2022 to showcase the city's climate action for Earth Day. Reading participated in the Local Climate Action Program and Shared Energy Manager program from DEP and is in the process of finalizing their local climate action plan.

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

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.

Online forum: Solar Options for Municipal Operations, Residents, and Businesses

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.