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Budgeting for Climate Action

Integrating Municipal Budgeting and Procurement to Advance Climate Plan Outcomes

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA) and ResourceX are teaming up to help local governments increase their climate change and sustainability impact through better coordination between climate action,  budget and purchasing processes. 

In spite of decades of efforts in local climate action, deep cost reductions in renewable energy, and historic levels of federal investment in infrastructure and climate programs, many local governments feel stymied in an “analysis and planning cycle” that occupies time and resources that could be applied to program implementation.  

Applications are now being accepted from U.S. cities and counties who wish to align their existing budgets with climate action plans and leverage existing resources to access and manage federal funds.


Instructors will provide:

●      Climate budgetary evaluation, execution and risk analysis.

●      Introduction to priority based budgeting systems and tools;

●      Identification of municipal tools for mitigation and adaptation such as fleet, facilities, energy and materials procurement; and land use, infrastructure and development decisions is in great need;

●      Awareness of national and international frameworks for climate action that impact municipal finance (such as Sustainable Development Goals); Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB);

●      Identification of opportunities to intersect climate action planning alongside budget cycles and more sustainable forms of procurement;

●      Capabilities to foster enhanced climate focused communication and consideration across the organization (and specifically across procurement , budget and sustainability offices)

Desired Outcomes

Participant Teams will:

●      Identify annual budget components that have climate action implications;

●      Co-develop a project that will advance an activity from a municipal climate action plan and include it as a component of the municipal budget;

●      Develop a corresponding procurement execution plan or RFP solicitation designed to execute budget appropriations;

●      Develop policies or procedures for enduring communication and collaboration between sustainability and climate efforts and budget and procurement exercises.

●  Commit to including sustainability staff lead in the city / county budget process

Cohort Overview 

Note that two sessions (April and August or September 2023) will take place in person in Denver, Colorado.  Participants would plan to support their own travel costs.

One February 2023(Week of February 6th)Kickoff Session: Introduction to the State of Play(90-MINUTE VIRTUAL)Problem statement and what is our objective?
Framework and Trends (SDGs, CDP, Bond Ratings)Circulation of City Project Descriptions
Provide a Macro Overview of Local Government Capabilities and the Need to Create Purpose Driven Budget and Finance Strategies
Two February 2023(Week of February 20th)Level Setting the Climate Challenge and Priority Based Budgeting(90-MINUTE VIRTUAL)Identify and document high impact actions (minimum of 3) within municipal control from a program and project perspective (operating and capital budget activity)
Introduction to the importance of utilizing GHG Accounting data, Recognition of  High Impact Actions within municipal control and Priority Based Budgeting linkages(ICLEI + RX)
Familiarity to the role cities have in addressing climate action and new ways to approach budgeting for impacts, not just filling line items What are “climate” items in the budget? What do you “control”
Three March 2023(Week of March 13th)Staff to Staff / City to City Climate Program Goals and Budget Process Description (WORKING MEETING – City Presentations with RX/ICLEI team)Cities Outline their High Priority Projects and Create Descriptions of Current Budget Cycles Approaches (RX)Create a common understanding of City climate priorities and how the current budget is/is not addressing the needs
Four In Denver April 24, 2023 (full-day)Mini Insights Workshop(PRESENTATION + WORKING MEETING)RX provides Priority Based Budget (PBB) Blueprint introductionIntroduce participants to PBB and the larger insights process
(May TBC)
Climate and Budget Governance(CITY PRESENTATIONS)ICLEI and Lead cities share current climate and budget wins, review and engagementsIdentify what works and ways to improve collaboration and communication between budget and climate teams
(June TBC)
Aligning High Impact Actions and Budget Needs(WORKING MEETING)Evaluate Key Opportunities for GHG or Adaption Investments and Identify Investment Allocation PathwaysCities match their critical climate projects with budget and finance tools needed for delivery
July (TBC)
Going Beyond Budget – Partnerships and Capacity Building + Gaining Executive Support(PRESENTATION + WORKING MEETING)Strategic and Cross Agency/Sector Partnerships + Creating Delivery Strategies and Procurement ModelsDetermine primary project and the team responsible for delivery
Eight (August – Sept TBC)Developing the Project Plan(FINAL PRESENTATION)Developing the Budget and Program Delivery PlanCreation of Budget Request and Procurement Design Strategy


Angie Fyfe,  Executive Director, ICLEI USA,, 510-844-0699

Erik Fabian, Strategic Partnerships Manager, ResourceX,

About the Collaborators 

ResourceX supports local governments to strategically align resources with community outcomes. Through Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) methodology and software, local governments are accelerating data-driven decision making and budgeting to align resources towards society’s biggest challenges. Providing a platform to fund equity initiatives, climate action plans, and a fiscally sustainable future for residents and the community.

ICLEI is a global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125+ countries, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. ICLEI USA is an acknowledged leader in local government technical assistance, providing the tools, standards, and programs for local governments to measurably reduce carbon emissions. 

Guest Presenters (TBC)

Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC), fosters cross department collaboration to enhance communications and process awareness

Government Finance Officer Association (GFOA) provides timely information, practical educational opportunities, high-quality professional publications, and the latest information on best practices for government finance professionals.

National Institute for Government Procurement (NIGP) brings additional credibility as the lead supporting agency for government and institutional procurement officers.

At a Glance

Open To:

ICLEI Members, Cities, Counties

# Participants:



Feb 2023 through Sept 2023


100 - Introductory


$2,500 per city or county (50 % of which may be applied to either new ICLEI Membership or ResourceX Project)


Low Emissions, Resilient, Equity / People Centered, Nature-Based, Circular


This cohort will provide essential tools for communities interested in improving budgets for impactful climate action programs and projects.


U.S. local governments. Cohort members will provide a team of (minimum) three members representing budget, sustainability and procurement functions. Teams will submit a sample of three potential projects from their climate action plans to evaluate and workshop through the process. Engagement in the cohort will yield a budget and procurement strategy that can be executed as part of the municipalities 2023/2024 budget cycle. Participants will have: Emission reduction ambition and possess a specific emission reduction target; Climate action plan and a minimum of one adopted climate policy or program; Understanding of operating programs, capital projects and demonstrated capabilities to design procurement strategies; Teams of senior officials empowered and with authority to develop budget, procurement and sustainability policies; and Executive level organizational commitment to innovation in budget, procurement and sustainability innovation.

Who Will Participate

We recommend U.S. cities and counties that meet the eligibility requirements listed above.

Effort Level

This training provides participants with key skills to align their existing budgets with climate action plans and leverage existing resources to access and manage federal funds.


Please refer to the schedule provided above.


Email with any questions.