Climate Action Plan


What is a Climate Action Plan?

Climate Action Plans (CAP) are comprehensive road maps that outline efforts that will be undertaken by communities as a whole to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CAPs build upon the information gathered by greenhouse gas inventories and focus on activities that can achieve the greatest emission reductions in the most cost-effective manner.  CAPs typically focus on quantifying existing and projected greenhouse gas emissions; establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; identifying and analyzing future greenhouse gas emissions; identifying specific measures that will achieve the emissions targets; and establishing a mechanism to implement the plan and monitor the plan's progress.   

To review the community-wide Climate Action Plan, please click here.

An Open House was held Wednesday, November 9, 2016, from 6 - 8 pm at the City Hall Atrium Second Floor (30 Church St, Rochester, NY 14614). Up to one hundred members of the community attended to share their feedback on the draft Climate Action Plan. 

A handout of the information presented at the Open House can be viewed here.  For the At-a-Glance document, please click here


About the City of Rochester Community Climate Action Plan 

The City Rochester is creating a Community Climate Action Plan (CAP) to provide a framework for sustainable projects and actions that will help Rochester reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.  The objective of the CAP is to establish a set of challenging yet achievable goals, actions, strategies and policies that reduce the City’s emissions and move toward a more sustainable community in alignment with the Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan.

The CAP will cover focus areas that lay out objectives and prescribe actions specifically developed to contribute to electricity and fossil fuel savings, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the entire City of Rochester, focusing on the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. These include: 

  • Energy Use and Supply: encourage retrofits of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, incentivize new construction to exceed existing building code, and implement neighborhood-level practices for energy efficiency. Renewable energy will be incorporated under this focus area as well. 
  • Transportation: reduce vehicle emissions and fossil fuel consumption through the promotion of alternative fuel vehicle use (e.g. electric vehicle charging stations), reduce vehicle miles traveled, and promote public transit as well as complete streets to encourage biking and walking. 
  • Waste and Materials Management: reduce of the quantity of waste sent to landfills through actions that facilitate materials recycling, re-use and composting for residents and businesses, as well policies that promote green purchasing.
  • Clean water: regional cooperation for watershed management, leveraging, and building upon existing watershed groups; improve water treatment capacity and redundancy; regionalize water supply coordination and diversification for redundancy in emergency situation; increase regulation of non-point source pollutants; increase and improve storm water management, including green infrastructure. 
  • Land use: protect the natural environment through urban forest initiatives, green infrastructure projects and incentives for water conservation and efficiency; green space protection; build upon existing urban agriculture working group; invest in land purchases and conservation easements.

What’s next?

The City convened a stakeholder group comprised of individuals with specific areas of expertise to work with the City and its consultant team to help inform the content of the plan.  Three stakeholder meetings were held. 
Following are the meeting slides from the stakeholder meetings:

  1. January 27, 2016 
  2. April 7, 2016 
  3. June 14, 2016 

Additionally, the following opportunities for public input were held: 

As the City continues to develop the CAP, please stay tuned for the release of the final CAP scheduled for mid 2017.

City of Rochester Municipal Operations Climate Action Plan 

In 2013, the City of Rochester created a CAP specifically for municipal operations, i.e. buildings, vehicles, and other activities managed by the City of Rochester.  The municipal CAP includes a target greenhouse gas reduction goal of 20% below 2008 emissions by 2020 and focuses on the following five key focus areas:

  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy;
  • Transportation and fleet;
  • Materials and waste management;
  • Climate change adaptation and green infrastructure; and
  • Employee education and engagement.
To view the municipal operations Climate Action Plan, please click here


Please contact Anne Spaulding in the City’s Office of Energy and Sustainability at (585) 428-7474, or email her.