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Climate Action Champions

Climate Action Champions

The White House launched the Climate Action Champions (CAC) Initiative in December 2014 with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as lead Agency. The Administration expanded the Initiative in December 2015 through a strategic partnership with the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS).


The Climate Action Champions Initiative supports local and tribal government climate actions by:

  • Targeting Federal support to accelerate greenhouse gas emission reductions and climate resilience in Champion communities across the U.S.
  • Ensuring Champions represent a diverse group of communities so that lessons learned have national applicability – providing replicable models for both communities demonstrating continued climate leadership and underserved communities seeking to scale their climate action.
  • Working with Champions so the U.S. Government can better understand barriers to local climate action and incorporate lessons learned into Federal programs, tools, and processes where possible.
  • Engaging strong external partners to foster this work, including national philanthropies, community foundations, NGOs, and the private sector. 


Following a competitive process led by the DOE in the fall of 2014, the Administration announced 16 designees from around the country as the first class of Climate Action Champions in December 2014. These Climate Action Champions exhibited outstanding leadership in climate resilience actions and greenhouse gas emissions reductions and represent a diverse group of 158 communities across the United States that are defining the frontier of ambitious climate action. Their approaches can also serve as models for other communities to follow.  The first cohort of Climate Action Champions are:

Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe, Boston, Dubuque, Knoxville, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Mid-America Regional Council, Minneapolis, Montpelier, Oberlin, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, Seattle, Sonoma County, and the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact.


The second cohort of Climate Action Champions was derived from the Resilience AmeriCorps program that was announced in August 2015. In keeping with the mission of the Climate Action Champions, the Resilience AmeriCorps program supports communities where the effects of climate change are often most acutely felt and helps them develop preparedness plans and assist local leaders as they plan for and address the impacts of extreme weather events. These second cohort of communities are broadly supported by the Climate Action Champions Inter-Agency Working Group, described below. As Climate Action Champions, these cities will also receive information about key Federal funding and technical assistance to help them reach their resilience goals and, in turn, become champions of environmental leadership for other underserved communities nationally. The second cohort of Climate Action Champions are:

Austin, Anchorage, Boulder, Chicago, Columbia, Kansas City, Phoenix. Pittsburgh, Saint Paul, and New Orleans.


The Climate Action Champions demonstrate the potential of every community to take on the challenge of climate change resilience and mitigation.  CAC is an interagency initiative and Federal Agencies are working together to assist the Champions in their near- and long-term climate action goals and learn from the Champions to enhance Federal programs with local communities.

  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
  • U.S. Global Change Research Program

The White House

  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Council on Environmental Quality
  • National Security Council

Climate Action Champions Map