In the Toolkit --


  • Guide to the Toolkit
  • Leagues in Action
  • I. Choosing a Role for Your League

    II. Grassroots Action Priorities

  • Climate Action
  • Price on Carbon
  • Our Children's Trust
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Renewable Energy
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • III. Basics of Climate Change

    IV. Engaging Individuals

  • Communicating About Climate Change
  • Preparing for a Meeting on Climate Change
  • Engaging Groups in Your Community
  • V. Promoting Public Policy

  • Community Action Models
  • Organizing For Community Action
  • Tips for Building Grassroots Support
  • League Action on Climate Change
  • International Action
  • VI. Resources


    There are a variety of initiatives available to communities around the country who wish to take collective action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase their resiliency. These programs provide opportunities for Leagues to partner with their local governments and other organizations to advance climate goals and help their communities become more sustainable.

    U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement

    U.S. mayors have been at the forefront of efforts to make significant reductions in GHG emissions. When in February 2005 the Kyoto Protocol became law for the 141 countries that had ratified it, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels launched an initiative to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol through leadership and action by at least 141 American cities. By the time of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting that June, 141 mayors had signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, commiting their cities to striving to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol emissions-reduction targets in their own communities -- a seven percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012, the target suggested for developed countries like the U.S. As of November 2019, the agreement had been signed by 1,066 mayors.

    An April 2014 report, Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Actions in America's Cities from the Mayors Climate Protection Center, provides information on climate efforts in 282 of these cities. And the U.S. Mayors Report on a Decade of Climate Leadership was issued in December 2015, on the eve of the COP21 meeting in Paris where 35 mayors shared their stories about their city's efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

    Communities that have signed onto the climate protection agreement are at different stages in fulfilling their commitments. There are opportunities for local Leagues and community partners to collaborate with their local governments to develop and advance strategies to achieve local mitigation and adaptation goals. 

    ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA

    Local governments can also join ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a global network of more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Five interconnected pathways serve as the basis for ICLEI's vision for sustainable development — development that is low emission, nature-based, circular, resilient, and equitable.  

    LEED for Cities and Communities

    LEED for Cities and Communities helps local governments measure and track performance using the LEED for Cities rating system. Areas of focus include Natural Systems and Ecology, Transportation and Land Use, Water Efficiency, Materials amd Resources, and Quality of Life.   

    ENERGY STAR Energy Efficiency Competitions

    ENERGY STAR encourages all types of organizations -- businesses, utility companies, local governments, schools, congregations -- to consider running an energy efficiency competition. ENERGY STAR partners have found that the spirit of healthy competition and the opportunity for recognition help drive participation and achieve impressive results. The ENERGY STAR Guide to Energy Efficiency Competition for Buildings and Plants (2014) covers key competition components, including setting goals, defining the scope of the competition, dedicating resources to the effort, measuring success, communicating to participants and the public, and recognizing achievement.

    ENERGY STAR also sponsors a National Building Competition to help improve the energy and water efficiency of commercial buildings. Participants include governments, businesses, school districts, hospitals, and congregations, whose energy managers compete to see who can save the most energy and water, on a percentage basis, between the previous and the current calendar years.

    Last updated: 2/6/2022