Resilience Cohort

What is a climate action plan?

A climate action plan is a document used to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and identify actions to meet these goals. Local governments will select actions based on data from previously conducted greenhouse gas inventories and using input from the public. 

Examples of climate action plans

Examples of possible actions included in other Midwestern greenhouse gas reduction plans

  • Energy efficiency and conservation measures
  • Clean energy projects
  • Waste reduction or recycling programs
  • Public transportation upgrades
  • Expansion of tree canopy coverage
  • Embracing and supporting electric and alternative fuel vehicles
  • Improved stormwater management and retention
  • Encouraging adoption of alternative commute incentives by local businesses and organizations

Hire a Summer Intern to Support Plan Development

Apply for a Summer Extern through the Indiana Sustainability Development Program

To support the development of a climate action plan, 2020 Resilience Cohort participants are invited to apply for a summertime IU student extern through the Indiana Sustainability Development Program (ISDP). The deadline to apply for an extern is December 13, 2019. The application to participate in the 2020 Cohort, either with or without a Sustain IU extern, is combined with the Indiana Sustainability Development Program application.

Extern or Intern Engagement

Summer interns hired through ISDP and elsewhere will attend an in-person climate action plan training session and will start their placements in May. During their placements, these students will help develop the climate action plan by reviewing the greenhouse gas reduction analysis, coordinating community input and cross-departmental participation, prioritizing reduction actions, and drafting the plan. Summer interns will leave their host communities in August 2020.

2020 Program Timeline

January-April 2020

The 2020 Resilience Cohort will begin in January. Environmental Resilience Institute staff and ICLEI USA will work with the staff liaison from participating communities to identify, evaluate, and begin to prioritize carbon-reducing opportunities. Institute staff will help the liaisons with greenhouse gas reduction strategy analysis and ICLEI USA will provide software and technical assistance through regularly scheduled webinars, individual consultation, facilitated peer networking, and guidance on specific tasks for target setting, forecasting emission reductions, identifying benefits and costs of greenhouse gas reduction actions, and selecting strategies to engage community members. Participating communities will select a greenhouse gas reduction target as a basis for prioritizing reduction actions.

May-September 2020

While not necessary, summer interns are highly encouraged to boost staff capacity during the summer to help draft the climate action plan, coordinate community input and cross-departmental participation, and complete other analysis as needed. The community liaison will continue to lead the project. Local governments will be encouraged to complete their draft climate action plans by September 2020.

October-December 2020

One last community review of the final draft will take place, in anticipation of going to the mayor, city or town council, county commission, or other approving body for adoption.

Costs to Participating Communities


ICLEI members - No cost

Non-ICLEI members - Based on community population size

  • 50,000 people or less: $300
  • 50,000 people or more: $800
Participation Requirements
  • A dedicated local government staff person. ICLEI estimates local government staff time at 10 – 15 hours a month, on average, for nine months (January – September), plus the amount of time it takes to get the climate action plan adopted.
  • Optional: If the community decides to host an IU extern to support Cohort participation, the local government will need to provide a computer, workspace, and phone for the extern, and will be asked to contribute to the partial cost of the student stipend.

The Institute thanks the McKinney Family Foundation and the Duke Energy Foundation for their generous support of the 2020 Resilience Cohort.

The Institute thanks the McKinney Family Foundation and Earth Charter Indiana for their generous support of the 2019 Resilience Cohort.