Applying for Certification

Local governments must use this website to upload their documentation and apply for Climate Smart Communities (CSC) certification. Visit the Getting Started page and the Certification Application User Guide for details on the steps involved.

Local governments should follow the guidelines and requirements below for the process of applying to be designated a Certified Climate Smart Community:

  • Local governments can submit documentation at any point in time in the municipal dashboard, but the review of applications will occur on a set schedule each year; this schedule is referred to as the application cycle. Points are not awarded on a rolling basis.

  • When an applicant has completed a combination of actions that meet minimum requirements for one of the certification levels, a notification in the municipal dashboard will appear, indicating that the applicant can submit the application. Applicants cannot submit an application that does not, at minimum, meet the requirements for the bronze level. Certifications are announced according to the dates indicated in each year's application cycle.

  • Local governments may apply and earn one of the higher award levels upon initial certification, provided they meet the minimum requirements for that award level, and once certified, may submit action documentation toward higher award levels at any time.

  • Points may awarded for actions that were completed prior to adoption of the Climate Smart Communities pledge. The descriptions for each of the actions specify the maximum amount of time (prior to the application date) by which the action must have been completed to qualify for points.
  • Certification is valid for a period of five years after the date of designation. No further action is necessary to maintain status as a Certified Climate Smart Community during the five-year period.