Why Become Certified?

Help New York State lead the way on climate action! Certified Climate Smart Communities (CSCs) represent New York’s foremost leaders in local climate action. Local governments that are designated as Certified CSCs have undergone a rigorous review process to confirm their completion of a suite of concrete actions that mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The benefits of participating in the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program include the following:

  • Better scores on grant applications for some state funding programs, like DEC’s CSC Grants
  • State-level recognition for each community’s leadership
  • A robust framework to organize local climate action and highlight priorities
  • Streamlined access to resources, training, tools and expert guidance
  • Networking and sharing best practices with peers

By implementing certification actions, communities experience the following benefits:

  • Cost savings through greater efficiency
  • Greater energy independence and energy security
  • Improved air quality from switching to clean energy
  • Healthier, more walkable urban centers through smart growth
  • Conservation of green spaces for recreation and biodiversity
  • Reduction of future flood risk through climate change adaptation strategies
  • Investment in an economy that supports sustainability and green businesses
  • Greater engagement with residents who care about the future of their hometowns