Cities Advancing Climate Action: Leveraging Federal Funds for Local Impact A Resource Guide

In January 2022, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) released Cities Advancing Climate Action: Leveraging Funds for Local Impact, a resource guide of municipal case studies. Following the passing of the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in 2021, USCM and C2ES compiled these case studies that provide guidance to cities on how they can utilize funding from these laws to promote resilience. USCM and C2ES assert that “cities have been at the center of advancing climate and resilience priorities for communities for decades” and the influx of funding is an opportunity for cities to make “impactful action against climate change and structural inequality.”

The case studies in the guide are divided into the following sections:

  • Creative Utilization of Funding Sources for Comprehensive Flood Mitigation (Case Study: Dubuque, IA) 
  • Strategic Greening of Municipal Fleets with Federal Funding (Case Study: Wichita, KS)
  • Effective Planning for Spending Sustainability Funds (Case Study: Denver, CO) 
  • Embedding Equity, Community Benefit, and Job Creation into Climate Initiatives (Case Studies: New Orleans, LA; Cambridge, MA; and Miami, FL) 
  • Powerful Municipal Utility Planning for Widespread Vehicle Electrification (Case Studies: Sacramento and Roseville, CA)

The case studies include an overview of the project, funding sources, elements of the project, the community impacts, lessons learned, next steps, resources for more information including relevant contact information, and potential IIJA funding opportunities for a similar project.

USCM and C2ES state that each case study offers unique lessons for cities, however there are several key overall takeaways for cities. These include:

  • Developing a plan to meet community needs before chasing funding;
  • Identifying multiple and diverse community benefits that can be achieved through each project;
  • Matching funding opportunities with identified needs;
  • Engaging diverse stakeholders early and often; and
  • Building relationships and identifying common goals with funders, community organizations, and stakeholders.

After the case studies, the guide also includes an appendix that outlines new and existing climate programs in IIJA. For each program, the guide notes the level and type of funding, such as grants, formula, or loans; purpose of the program; and eligibility information; and includes links to more information if available.

Publication Date: January 2022

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Resource Types:

  • Case study
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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