The Climate Action Planning Institute

The Climate Action Planning Institute (CAPI) is a facilitated, collaborative working group through which a select group of local governments develop individual government operations greenhouse gas emissions inventories and government operations climate action plans.

The Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC), in partnership with ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), is leading CAPI. Eighteen municipalities together are taking a collaborative approach to climate mitigation and helping bring State funding to the region for important clean energy and sustainability projects.

What are CAPI participants working on?

Each municipality is completing a government operations greenhouse gas inventory and a government operations climate action plan.

A government operations greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting, analysis, and reporting of the GHG emissions resulting from the day-to-day operations of a village, town, city, or county. A government operations greenhouse gas inventory defines GHG reduction targets, identifies priority actions, and provides a framework for completing actions and achieving targets.

Why are municipalities doing this work?

Creating a government operations greenhouse gas inventory is a foundational step toward effective climate action. GHG inventories provide the data needed to set realistic goals and track progress toward reducing operating costs, energy use, and emissions.

By creating a government operations climate action plan, local governments facilitate coordination across departments and take a leadership role in providing their communities with recommended actions and emissions targets that help inspire community-wide action.

These documents are fundamental to the NY State Climate Smart Communities program, through which municipalities become both directly eligible for some grants, and at an increased likelihood for receiving other grants.

Creating a government operations greenhouse gas inventory is a foundational step toward effective climate action. GHG inventories provide the data needed to set realistic goals and track progress toward reducing operating costs, energy use, and emissions.

By creating a government operations climate action plan, local governments facilitate coordination across departments and take a leadership role in providing their communities with recommended actions and emissions targets that help inspire community-wide action.

These documents are fundamental to the NY State Climate Smart Communities program, through which municipalities become both directly eligible for some grants, and at an increased likelihood for receiving other grants.

What material is covered in monthly CAPI cohort meetings?

PART 1

Cohort meetings cover the basics of government operations greenhouse gas inventories, including emissions factors, emission scopes, global warming potentials, data sectors, and data collection. The focus is on the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) requirements and guidelines, and learning from cohort participants, as well as other municipalities that have done this work. The cohorts work closely with ICLEI's tools, especially ICLEI's Clear Path tool for creating municipal greenhouse gas inventories. Climate communications, that is effective ways to package and communicate climate-related data for broader audiences, is also emphasized.

PART 2

Cohort meetings cover government operations climate action plans, including forecasting, setting goals, and drafting the plan, as well as the effective use of the Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Inventory in informing the Government Operations Climate Action Plan.  Effective methods of community engagement and outreach is discussed, and the cohorts learn about ICLEI's resources, and other tools useful in climate planning. The cohorts hear from others who have created plans, and they present to and compare their draft findings and recommendations with each other.

Which communities are participating in CAPI?

Dutchess County

City of Beacon

City of Poughkeepsie

Town of Amenia

Town of Pleasant Valley

Town of Poughkeepsie

Town of Rhinebeck

Village of Rhinebeck

Village of Wappingers Falls

Dutchess County

Westchester County

City of Peekskill

City of White Plains​

Town of Ossining

Village of Hastings-on-Hudson

Village of Irvington

Village of Ossining

Village of Pelham

Village of Tarrytown ​

Westchester County

How do I learn more about CAPI?

For more information on CAPI, or the CAPI Adapt program, please reach out to Mary Lambert, mlambert@hudsonvalleyrc.org.

The Dutchess and Westchester CAPI program has been funded in part by the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program, Title 15 of the Environmental Projection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.