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NWI Environmental Resilience Cohort

Climate Action Planning is the process by which local governments can assess the many options that are available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their jurisdiction in order to act upon and prioritize the most effective means of reducing emissions.

A climate action plan, however, is not simply a list of emissions reduction measures, rather it represents an opportunity to simultaneously enhance the livability for residents while increasing the community’s resilience to climate related challenges a community may be facing.

This larger context needs to be considered, and as with any planning activity that can have considerable impact on the community, the appropriate stakeholder engagement and outreach efforts should be taken.

The Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University in collaboration with ICLEI, a nonprofit organization that helps local governments pursue deep reductions in carbon pollution and tangible improvements in sustainability and resilience,  NWI Resilience, The Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), Hoosiers and organizations throughout the region is working, with that aim, to prepare Indiana and the Midwest for environmental changes that affect individuals, communities, businesses, and natural systems. An environmental resilience cohort kicked off in Northwest Indiana at the beginning of March.

A brief outline of each session follows:

March 8, 2022

Session 1 – Introduction to Climate Action Planning & Forming a Task Force

  1. What can you learn from your GHG inventory?
  2. What is a climate action plan?
  3. What is climate mitigation VS adaptation?
  4. How to set up a task force?

March 22, 2022

Session 2 – Equitable and Meaningful Community Engagement

  1. Preface – Equity and engagement are not standalone topics. There’s no one-size-fits all approach and nobody has all of the answers. It is critical to take the time to understand the resources made available and to decide to what extent they are relevant and feasible in your community.
  2. What is equity?
  3. Why is equity important in climate action planning?
  4. Equitable and meaningful community engagement in climate action planning (examination of historic, traditional and non-traditional approaches)
  5. Concrete suggestion on steps for developing a community engagement strategy followed by a Q and A.

April 5, 2022

Session 3: Introduction to Climate Change – Vulnerability Assessment

  1. IU Corhort expectations
  2. What is climate change vulnerability assessment?
  3. What is involved?
  4. What is the purpose?
  5. Suggested steps and resources.

April 12, 20222

Session 4: Forecasting GHGs and Setting Reduction Targets

  1. Business as usual (BAU) Forecast Overview of emissions trend
  2. Forecasting Details
  3. Forecasting Calculation/Clear Path
  4. Forecast Steps & Tips
  5. Reduction Target Overview
  6. Next Steps 

April 26, 2022

Session 5: Developing Climate Action Goals, Objectives and Measures

  1. Learning from your GHG inventory: What can you do to reduce GHG emissions?
  2. Framework for developing actions/measures
  3. Impacts and co-benefits
  4. Community engagement
  5. ICLEI CAP Templage

May 10, 2022

Session 6: Round Robin

Each participating community shared:

  1. Three most significant activities from their HIAs (e.g., residential natural gas)
  2. Two ideas for goals/objectives that relate to any of the three activities.
  3. Two ideas for adaptation goas/objectives

May 24, 2022

Session 7: Panel of Previous Cohort Participants: Successes Challenges and Best Practices

Guest presenters were:

  1. Town of Zionsville, Carol Johnson, Executive Assistant to the Mayor
  2. City of Bloomington, Lauren Clemens, Assistant Director of Sustainability
  3. City of Richmond , Grayson Hart, GIS Coordinator


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