Climate Action Funding and Technical Resources
This page provides information on potential funding sources and technical resources to help local governments in Washington State address climate change.
It is part of MRSC’s series on Climate Change.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments about the resources on this page.
The concern about climate change has been widely recognized on a global, national, and regional level. State and local governments are addressing climate change in their plans and policies and starting to take actions to reduce greenhouse gases.
In 2021, MRSC established the Local Climate Response Project to help local governments reduce greenhouse gas emissions, center equity in climate planning efforts, and adapt to and become more resilient to the effects of climate change. Out of this project grew a series of webpages, blogs, and webinars.
This page focuses on general external resources local governments may find helpful regarding climate change and local climate actions, as well as funding resources.
Below are funding resources for climate action planning and implementation from Washington State and elsewhere.
Washington State Funding Resources
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Ecology: Find a Grant or Loan — Includes information on the department's grants and loans related to air, climate, water, and shorelines.
- Department of Natural Resources
- Urban and Community Forestry — Provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to local governments to support self-sustaining urban and community forestry programs.
- Forest Health Assistance for Small Forest Landowners — Provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to owners of small, forested property for forest stewardship.
- Department of Transportation: Funding Programs — Provides information on federal and state funding programs, including congestion, mitigation, and air quality; pedestrian and bicycle programs; safe routes to school; and alternative transportation programs.
- Puget Sound Energy: Green Power Solar Grant — Offers funding for Puget Sound-based community-oriented solar projects as well as utility assistance support for low-income individuals.
Additional Funding Resources
- American Cities Climate Challenge: Federal Funding Opportunities for Local Decarbonization (2021) — Helps local governments prioritize and leverage existing federal funding to advance system-wide energy transition goals, from block grants and technical assistance to competitive grants, loans, and revolving loan funds. Also includes renewable energy funding sources by state.
- Georgetown Climate Center Adaptation Clearinghouse: Funding Opportunities — Has a vast number of resources and can be filtered by jurisdictional focus, regions affected, and states impacted.
- Urban Sustainability Directors Network: Funding and Financing Climate Action Plans (2019) — Provides local governments with recommendations on how to construct climate action plans to ensure that the actions identified and prioritized can be implemented through a strong funding/finance component.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Clearinghouse for Environmental Finance
- Climate Resilience Toolkit: Funding Opportunities — Includes links to government entities and private foundations that offer financial and technical resources to advance local adaptation and mitigation efforts.
- Funding and technical assistance for climate adaptation
- Grants — Includes links to regional grants and specific EPA grant programs, including those related to air quality and climate change. Every year, EPA awards more than $4 billion in funding for grants and other assistance agreements.
From the local to the international level, climate impacts like extreme heat, wildfires, and flooding have been the focus of considerable attention by governments in recent years. Below are links to reports, studies, peer networks, and other technical assistance from nonprofits and research institutes in Washington State and beyond.
Regional: Washington, Oregon, and California
- Association of Washington Cities: Center for Quality Communities — Features the AWC’s sustainability projects, including a scholarship project for Washington high school students.
- California State Natural Resources Agency: Building Climate Resilience — Includes resources on climate action, including California’s climate adaptation strategy and climate programs and partnerships.
- Climate Solutions — Based in Oregon and Washington, this nonprofit organization spearheads a regional approach to clean energy solutions. Includes a web broadcast series, research, and reports.
- GEOS Institute — Based in Oregon, this organization uses its technical and process expertise to help local leaders build climate resilience in their communities. Its Climate Ready Communities program helps small to medium-sized communities create climate resilience plans with an assisted do-it-yourself approach. The website offers a free guide to building climate resilience.
- Northwest Clean Energy Atlas — Explores the region's energy data use and provides detailed, up-to-date, and transparent system data to help inform decisions and track the progress of the clean energy transition.
- Oregon State Department of Land Conservation and Development: Climate Change Resources —Includes climate change resources such as climate action plans, natural hazard mitigation plans, and regional scenario planning.
- Puget Sound Climate Preparedness Collaborative — A regional network of local and tribal governments, regional agencies, and organizations is focused on peer learning and exchange of information, ideas, and opportunities related to climate preparedness.
- University of Washington
- Carbon Leadership Forum — Focused on eliminating embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure by inspiring innovation and spurring change through collective action.
- Climate Impacts Group — This research group is widely recognized for scientific discovery, as an experienced developer of impartial and actionable science, and as a catalyst for building regional climate resilience.
- Washington State
- Department of Commerce: Climate — Includes information on Commerce’s multi-year project to develop guidance for counties and cities to address mitigation, resilience, and disproportionately impacted communities within their comprehensive plans. This program is described within the 2021-23 operating budget, which appropriated more than $3 million over 2021-2023.
- Department of Ecology: Climate — Includes information on climate change, its causes, greenhouse gases, and other resources.
- Department of Health: Climate — Includes information on climate change impacts to health in terms of air quality, water, extreme heat, shellfish safety, and agriculture, as well as additional resources.
- Department of Natural Resources: Climate — Discusses accessing species vulnerability and assessing natural areas resiliency.
National and International
- American Planning Association: Climate Change Policy Guide — Includes policies that be used to help formulate position statements, legislative recommendations, and other policy-based actions
- Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) — Offers a comprehensive collection of scientific and public policy information regarding climate change to encourage innovative programs and solutions.
- Rocky Mountain Institute: The Carbon-Free City Handbook (2019) — Includes 22 actions and associated resources for cities interested in moving toward climate-neutrality.
- United Nations (UN)
- Climate Action — Portal for all UN climate change-related programs, actions, and knowledge.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — Seen as the definitive source of mainstream scientific consensus on climate science and projections of climate change impacts.
- Sustainable Development Solutions Network — Mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development. Its 2020 America’s Zero Carbon Action Plan offers suggestions for building an economy that achieves net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
- United States
- Department of Housing and Urban Development: Climate — Includes HUD’s new climate action plan and resources on climate resilience and adaptation, carbon emissions, and environmental justice.
- Department of Transportation: Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse — One-stop source of information on climate change impacts on transportation systems and infrastructure. Includes section on state/local actions and policies.
- Environmental Protection Agency: State and Local Climate and Energy Program — Offers free tools, data, and technical expertise about energy strategies (including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other emerging technologies) to help state, local, and tribal governments achieve their environmental, energy, and economic objectives.
- Global Change Research Program — Coordinates research and cooperation across its 13 federal member agencies to advance understanding of the changing Earth system and maximize efficiencies in federal global change research. It conducts a regular National Climate Assessment to analyze the impacts of global climate change in the U.S.
Peer Networks for Climate Action
- C40 Knowledge Hub — Provides a wealth of climate-related information from other climate experts. Registered users gain the ability to track topics of interest and receive personalized recommendations based on their interests.
- CivicWell — Works to build livable communities and local leadership via innovative programs and networking opportunities. Its climate change resources include community engagement tools, case studies, and local climate change adaptation reports.
- Climate Mayors — A bipartisan peer-to-peer network of U.S. mayors demonstrating climate leadership through actions in their communities. Includes an electric vehicle collaborative and climate action compendium, a detailed inventory of municipal actions on climate change and other sustainability issues.
- Global Covenant of Mayors — The largest global alliance for city climate leadership, built upon the commitment of over 11,500 cities and local governments.
- ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability — A global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to advancing climate protection and sustainable development.
- Mayors Climate Protection Center — Facilitates the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.
- Urban Sustainability Directors Network — A network of local government professionals across the U.S. and Canada who share best practices focused on climate change mitigation, preparedness, and social equity.