Background on the CSC Certification Program

The original focus of the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program in 2009 was on encouraging local governments to commit to act on climate change by passing a resolution containing the 10-point CSC Pledge. Announced in 2014, the certification program represents the next step in the evolution of the program; it provides specific guidance on how to implement the CSC pledge. In order to be designated a Certified Climate Smart Community, a municipality must go beyond the CSC Pledge by completing and documenting a suite of actions that mitigate and adapt to climate change at the local level.

The CSC Certification program was developed in partnership with six pilot communities and with funding from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program and in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. On Earth Day in 2014, New York State announced the launch of the certification program.

This website, released in 2018, provides information on over 100 climate mitigation and adaptation actions. Communities earn points toward certification for each action they complete. In addition to accumulating points, each community must complete a number of mandatory and priority actions at each level of certification (bronze, silver and gold). This website describes the requirements for each level of certification and the documentation required to earn points. It also serves as an interactive portal for local governments to upload documents and apply for certification. In addition, this website provides detailed information on the actions completed by each Certified Climate Smart Community in the certification reports that are available on the Participating Communities page.