Grant funds help municipalities adopt green infrastructure, greenhouse gas reduction and storm recovery programs.

Governor Kathy Hochul Announces $8 Million Now Available for Climate Smart Communities Grant A program to help municipalities take action on climate change. Funding is available for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the ongoing effects of climate change. Eligible projects may include reducing flood risk, enhancing natural resilience, relocating or retrofitting critical infrastructure, and climate change planning and assessment projects as part of Climate Smart Communities certification.

“As we continue to see the effects of climate change and extreme weather events, significant funding through New York’s Climate Smart Communities program is critical to supporting local efforts to protect residents and strengthen infrastructure,” Governor Hochul said. “These grants will help empower bold, locally-driven action to help meet New York’s ambitious climate goals, while creating resilient communities that set an example for other cities.”

The US Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Climate Smart Communities Grant Program was established in 2016 as a 50/50 matching program. It supports municipalities seeking to become Certified Climate Smart Communities and implements programs that advance New York State’s climate change goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating flood risk, and helping prepare for extreme weather. The plan supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (the Climate Act), which requires New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Since the program’s inception, DEC has allocated more than $60 million to municipalities to support local climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. More information about this grant program and the 2023 application request can be found on the DEC website.

Environmental Protection Commissioner Basil Seggos said“New York communities are on the front lines of our fight against climate change, and DEC’s Climate Smart Communities Initiative provides critical resources to help municipalities reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in renewable energy, and reduce waste. Thanks to Governor Hochul for his leadership, the next round Substantial grant funding will provide regional economic development investments for communities across the state and will support local governments in joining New York’s ambitious efforts to combat climate change, lower energy costs and build healthier, more resilient communities.”

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), said, “Climate-smart communities are an important support for municipalities in their fight against climate change, helping them embrace a greener tomorrow through a wide range of options. We are proud to partner with DEC on this important statewide initiative, which is in partnership with NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities plan to maximize available resources to reduce pollution and increase sustainability, while ensuring that all New Yorkers benefit from our transition to a clean energy economy.”

Up to $7 million is available for grants of $50,000 to $2 million to implement projects, which may include:

  • Reduce vehicle mileage;

  • reduce food waste;

  • Reducing HFC emissions from refrigeration and other cooling equipment;

  • Increase natural resilience by restoring or protecting wetlands and floodplains;

  • Reduce future flood risk, including by relocating or retrofitting critical infrastructure;

  • prepare for extreme weather events, and

  • Renewable energy projects in municipally-owned low-income housing.

In addition, up to $1 million is available for certification grants of $10,000 to $200,000 to plan, inventory, and evaluate projects related to 19 specific climate-smart community certification actions in the areas of GHG mitigation, climate adaptation, and land use consistent.

Closing date for applications is 28 July 2023 at 3pm. To apply for the latest round of grants, visit the New York State Common Funding Application (CFA), available online at:

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) requires New York’s disadvantaged communities to receive at least 35 percent of the benefits of spending on clean energy and energy efficiency projects, with a goal of 40 percent. The Climate Justice Task Force recently established criteria for identifying vulnerable communities to ensure frontline and other underserved communities benefit from the state’s historic transition to clean energy, reduced pollution and clean air, and economic opportunity. Given this important goal of the Climate Act, implementation projects that take place in disadvantaged communities and certification projects that take place in municipalities with disadvantaged communities will receive additional points in the scoring criteria for Climate Smart Communities grant applications.

These grants are part of a larger plan to support community engagement in local climate action. There are currently 381 registered Climate Smart Communities, representing more than 9.4 million New Yorkers. In order to be designated as a registered community, the municipality commits to addressing climate change through a formal resolution consisting of a 10-point pledge. Since 2014, 118 cities have completed a rigorous review process to be designated as certified climate-smart communities. These certified communities go above and beyond commitments to complete and document a range of actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change at the local level. More information on the certification program is available online at:

The Climate Smart Communities Grant Program is supported by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). New York’s EPF supports efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, improve agricultural resources for sustainable agriculture, protect our water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for New Yorkers. In the FY 2024 state budget, Gov. Hochul maintained EPF funding at $400 million, the highest funding level in the program’s history. The EPF also funds important environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, recreational facilities enhancements, water quality improvements and an active environmental justice agenda.

NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program supports the Climate Smart Communities Initiative, providing additional strategies and funding opportunities to assist New York State municipalities in implementing clean energy projects and initiatives. A network of regional coordinators supports the municipalities of both projects.learn more online.

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program is an interagency initiative of New York State and several other state entities that sponsor the program, including DEC, Department of Human Services, State Department, Department of Transportation, Department of Health, NYSERDA, New York Power Authority (NYPA) and New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).

New York State’s National Leading Climate Program

New York State’s nationally leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors, and secures at least 35 percent (with a target of 40 percent) of the Benefit energy and energy efficiency investments target disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives in the U.S., New York is on a path to a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable generation by 2030 and an economy-wide carbon neutrality within. A cornerstone of this transition is New York’s unprecedented clean energy investment, including more than $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable energy and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions and $1.8 billion to scale up solar , more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and more than $1.8 billion in New York Green Bank commitments. These and other investments support more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy industry in 2021, and the distributed solar industry has grown 2,100 percent since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also passed zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035. Partnership continues to advance climate action in New York with nearly 400 registered and 100 certified climate-smart communities, nearly 500 clean energy communities, and the state’s largest community air monitoring program in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to Helping tackle air pollution and fight climate change.

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