Getting Started

Climate Action Plan Best Practices – SBCTA

Institutionalization: Integrating climate action planning and emissions reduction efforts into City internal processes.

Engagement: Empowering City staff and encouraging community participation in the CAP process.

Strategic Planning: Prioritizing measures and ensuring all mechanisms necessary to support the CAP are in place.

Monitoring: Tracking and periodically re-assessing progress in meeting CAP goals.

Reporting: Remaining accountable through ongoing reporting of emissions reductions, costs, benefits, and challenges. Adaptive

Management: Remaining flexible and taking corrective actions to improve processes and programs.

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Sustainability Best Practices Framework

The Institute for Local Government’s Sustainability Best Practices Framework offers options for local action in ten areas. They are drawn from practical experiences of cities and counties throughout California. The options vary in complexity and are adaptable to fit the unique needs and circumstances of individual communities.

State and Local Policy Database

ACEEE’s  State and Local Policy Database is updated at least once per year with data collected for the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard and City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Communities not included in the database can use the Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool to compare their efficiency policies to other communities.


The CAP-Map was developed by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to acknowledge ongoing local government efforts to address climate change and serve as a repository for sharing local greenhouse gas reduction strategies.

SEEC Forum

The Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum, organized by the Local Government Commission in partnership with SEEC and offered at no-cost to California local government staff and officials, provides valuable opportunities for participants to learn, share, and network with peers from across the state.

Regional Climate Collaboratives

Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation member regional collaboratives work to promote and implement adaptation strategies in regions throughout California. Regional collaboratives can provide support for climate action planning.

“One of the first steps in designing a comprehensive approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to conduct an inventory that identifies the origins of your agency’s (or community’s) greenhouse gas emissions originate. By understanding what activities generate the greatest amount of greenhouse gas emissions, it is possible to prioritize subsequent activities to reduce the emissions in order to achieve the greatest reductions feasible.”
— Institute for Local Government

Key Steps in Developing a Local Greenhouse Gas Inventory – EPA

  1. Set goals and priorities
  2. Define scale of the inventory
  3. Choose general methodology
  4. Collect and compile data
  5. Set base year
  6. Calculate emissions
  7. Analyze and communicate results
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ClearPath is the leading online software platform for completing greenhouse gas inventories, forecasts, climate action plans, and monitoring at the community-wide or government-operations scales. ClearPath is offered as a free resource for California Local Governments through the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC).

Inventory Session Cohort

ICLEI annually hosts the “GHG Inventory Session”, a structured technical assistance program to guide California local governments through the steps of creating a community greenhouse gas inventory in real time. The Inventory Session is available through the SEEC program at no cost to cities.

During this 20-week program, ICLEI will assist up to 25 cities, counties, or regional entities* in the process of creating a community-scale GHG inventory following either the U.S. Community Protocol (USCP) or Global Protocol for Community-Scale Emissions (GPC). This session is appropriate for both communities developing their first inventory and those that have previously completed an inventory but now want additional training to ensure a new inventory is consistent with protocols and the most up-to-date best practices.

Learning Portal

The SEEC Learning Portal is a hub for energy efficiency, climate, and emissions-management resources as well as a guided-learning platform for managing GHG emissions.


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