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Pennsylvania Local Climate Action Planning Cohort 2019-2020


Start: September 2019
End: June 2020
Client or funder: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Collaborators: Twelve Pennsylvania universities connecting student interns with local governments


Through Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), ICLEI led a nine-month long cohort training program on climate action planning. With the help of Heidi Kunka, Energy Program Specialist at PA DEP, and university partners in PA, students from 12 PA universities were assigned to local governments to assist with the inventory and planning process. 

See this project in the media.

Project Activity

ICLEI provided training sessions and one-on-one technical assistance during the academic Fall and Spring semesters. The Fall semester sessions focused on completing a community-wide GHG inventory, whereas the Spring semester sessions focused on developing a Climate Action Plan. 

Twenty communities across the Commonwealth participated in the cohort. ICLEI delivered training sessions as well as one-on-one technical assistance to the 20 participants. At the end of the Fall semester, 19 out of the 20 communities completed a GHG inventory. At the end of the Spring semester, despite challenges related to COVID-19, 16 out of the 20 communities made substantial progress on a Climate Action Plan.


  • Communities that completed a GHG Inventory: 19 of 20
  • Training sessions delivered: 15 (7 on inventories and 8 on planning)
  • Communities with draft Climate Action Plan: 12
  • Communities with compiled summary reports of their GHG inventory, vulnerability assessment, and next steps: 4
  • ICLEI completed summer reports for communities who were unable to complete a draft CAP or report: 4

DEP hired ICLEI for a second round of the cohort, which will kick off in August, 2020.

Those Involved

Millvale Borough, PA
Sharpsburg Borough, PA
Etna Borough, PA
Carlisle Borough, PA
Chester County, PA
Erie County, PA
Jermyn Borough, PA
City of Reading, PA
Caln Township, PA
Bellefonte Borough, PA
Borough of Munhall, PA
West Homestead, PA
City of York, PA
Armstrong Township, PA
Derry Township, PA
Narberth Borough, PA
Indiana Borough, PA
Centre Region COG, PA
Elizabeth Township, PA
Borough of Forest Hills, PA

“The support our team received through the Pennsylvania Climate Action Cohort from ICLEI and the DEP was critical to Sharpsburg advancing its environmental goals in meaningful and realistic ways. From the student support in tracking down greenhouse gas emissions data to the technical assistance in calculating our most impactful options for improving our impact on the environment over the coming decades, the entire program gave us a clear and actionable path forward in reaching community-wide carbon neutrality. This program and the supportive staff at ICLEI will have a positive impact on our residents, natural environment, and vulnerable systems for years to come.” – Brittany Reno, Executive Director, Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization