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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Getting Started

The State Climate and Energy Program helps states develop policies and programs that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy costs, improve air quality and public health, and help achieve economic development goals. EPA provides states with proven, cost-effective best practices, peer exchange opportunities, and analytical tools as described throughout this website under the following categories:

State Examples »
Case Studies | GHG Inventories | Climate Change Action Plans

Topics »
Air Quality | Economics | Energy Efficiency | Health | Heat Islands | Impacts & Adaptation | Land Use | Renewable Energy | Transportation | Solid Waste & Materials Management | Water/Wastewater | Workforce Development

State Activities »
Developing an Action Plan | Developing a GHG Inventory | Identifying and Evaluating Policy Options | Designing and Implementing Programs | Choosing a Clean Energy Financing Program | Leading by Example in Government Operations | Engaging Stakeholders | Determining Results

Partner Network »
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State & Regional Climate Policy Tracking »
Energy Efficiency Actions | Energy Supply Actions | Power Sector | Reporting | State Planning and Incentive Structures | Targets and Caps | Transportation Sector | State Status Definitions

States have taken many approaches to advancing climate change mitigation strategies and expanding the use of clean energy. The paths to achieving these successes are varied, rarely linear, and almost always build upon the motivation of a champion or group of champions within the state (e.g., governor, environment commissioner, staff experts).

The steps below provide one general framework that states can consider when beginning to develop a climate change or clean energy strategy. The process of moving through these steps is frequently iterative.

  1. Engage stakeholders and support intra-state collaboration by facilitating coordination among state agencies to set targets, identify priorities for implementation, and report on progress. Involving multiple state agencies can result in leveraging of resources to achieve goals more quickly and with fewer resources.
  2. Establish specific clean energy and climate change goals for your state:
  3. Identify and evaluate policy and program options:
  4. Design and implement programs in order to maximize benefits and achieve program goals:
  5. Monitor and evaluate progress in order to determine results of programs and policies and communicate benefits.

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