Creating a Climate Action Plan from scratch is difficult. Metrics need to be tracked, goals need to be set, and values identified. Thankfully, many organizations and cities have created templates and general guides for the creation of Climate Action Plans. While these resources should not be used exclusively, they provide a great starting point for interested municipalities.



C40 Roadmaps for Successful Climate Action: Good Practices Guides

(C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group)

C40, a network of large cities that want to take action on climate change, has released eleven Good Practice Guides that offer mayors and urban planners strategies for tackling climate change. These guides analyze 100+ cities, reflecting their lessons so that new plans can be made. These strategies have proven effective and are broken down by topic. Topics include: Bus Rapid Transit, Climate Change Adaptation in Delta Cities, Climate Positive Development, Cool Cities, Creditworthiness, District Energy, Low Emission Vehicles, Municipal Building Efficiency, Sustainable Solid Waste Systems, Transit Oriented Development and Waste to Resources.


Calculating Carbon Emissions

(Institute for Local Governments)

This document from the Institute for Local Governments provides some basic information for starting your carbon emissions assessment. It provides examples, definitions, and links to calculators. You can also visit our page on calculators here. 


ClearPath™ online software

(ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability)

ClearPath™ was created by experts at ICLEI to guide cities in completing greenhouse gas inventories, forecasts, climate action plans, and monitoring the progress of their government and community. This web-based platform can help your city track their GHG emissions and recieve consulting from the experts at ICLEI.


Climate Action Plan Template (Energy portion)

(Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative)

This helpful template provides states with everything they need to begin planning their own Climate Action Plan (CAP), from physical document headers to guides on energy assessment tools. Although this template should not be follower verbatim, it is a great resource to begin a fresh CAP.


Climate Action Planning Guidebook for Small Cities

(Michigan Suburbs Alliance)

Suburbs and small cities present some of the greatest challenges to sustainability, but they also hold great potential for future development. It is crucial that municipalities create climate action plans that suit their population and landscape, and this implies that CAPs cannot be one-size-fits-all. This comprehensive best practices guide is written through the scope of Michigan-specific experiences, but its tactics and resources can be applied to any community around the world.


Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy

(Union of Concerned Scientists)

This open-source report explains how each region of the United States can cut carbon emissions and save money across sectors. If initiatives from this Blueprint were implemented, the cost of energy and transportation per household would be cut by $900 in 2030. It outlines Climate, Industry and Building, Electricity and Transportation Policies that provide standards and metrics of success for climate initiatives. This document provides measurable data that can be used in the planning of a municipality’s CAP.


Climate Action for Urban Sustainability (CURB)

(The World Bank)

CURB is an interactive planning tool designed for cities to take action on climate change. This tool provides templates for energy use input, GHG tracking, target-setting, and an action module that creates and tracks progress. CURB tracks your municipality’s progress and sources relevant local information to each new account. CURB is a great planning tool for cities that are just getting started and want a user-friendly visual resource for their Climate Action Roadmap planning.


Local Governments Coalition

This nonprofit organization works to support local policymakers through policy guidance, national events, and low cost technical assistance. LGS networks local leaders in California to share experiences, but their reach spans the rest of North America as well. They offer conferences, training forums and other open-source resources to help grow local knowledge for sustainable leadership.