One way to obtain resources is simply to ask for them as part of a local department’s annual budget proposal. While simple in theory, many local governments find it challenging to appropriate general fund dollars in an annual budget to support the upfront costs of climate and energy projects and initiatives. This may be due to political ideologies or because they view work outside of traditional health and safety services as discretionary and non-essential, especially during difficult budget years. However, given the growing level of urgency around climate change and the real world experience of impacts to health and safety (e.g. heat waves, wildfires, flooding), local governments are beginning to see these appropriations as a key investment that can avoid the overwhelming costs of mitigation climate change and build community-wide social, economic, and environmental resilience.
Alternatively, jurisdictions can ensure that all funds appropriated to any department or capital improvement plan are spent in line with municipal building standards. By adopting building standards, local governments can require all of their buildings meet specific criteria. For example, a jurisdiction could require all buildings to meet LEED standards, be Zero Net Energy, or produce no carbon emissions, for example.