This page may be periodically updated with new resources and information.
States, local governments, and Tribal nations have been taking meaningful action on climate, justice, and jobs for years, helping to lay the groundwork for bold, nationwide action when little was being done at the federal level. However, with the change in presidential administrations and subsequent federal investments in climate action through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), states and local governments have an opportunity to lead like never before.
The Center for American Progress’ State-Federal Climate Initiative (SFCI) was created in 2020 to show how successful state and local climate leadership could guide federal climate action. However, with the recent passage of landmark federal legislation investing in climate solutions, SFCI has also turned attention toward the implementation of these laws, ensuring that subnational governments can capitalize on this historic public investment to advance their progress.
SFCI’s focus includes not only an examination of successful policies and impactful opportunities, but also the coalition building and advocacy strategies that have engaged broad and diverse groups of participants and produced effective results. In addition, this includes an examination of the intergovernmental coordination and capacity building necessary for state, local, and federal agencies to work together for effective climate leadership.
The resources below reflect the dynamic landscape of state and local climate action, showing areas where subnational governments are leading and areas that need additional federal support. Through this work, SFCI aims to show that bold climate action is possible and popular, support state and local governments to take advantage of federal funding, and inspire and inform policymaking through successful state and local examples:
- Biden Administration Investment Tracker, Center for American Progress, June 15, 2023
This interactive tool allows users to locate projects occurring in states and localities around the country. Projects can be found by sorting by state, congressional district, project theme, and more.
- How States Can Lead on Reducing Harms from Methane, Center for American Progress, November 18, 2022
This article lays out how states can lead on methane-reduction efforts, utilizing federal investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and the IIJA.
- How States and Cities Can Benefit From Climate Investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, Center for American Progress, August 25, 2022
This issue brief describes how state and local governments will receive financial and technical support from the Biden administration to help them achieve success under the Inflation Reduction Act and how they must be prepared to create ambitious programs in their communities.
- Event: Stateside Chat: Michigan Making Moves, Center for American Progress, May 24, 2022
This virtual event features keynote remarks by National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy, followed by CAP President and CEO Patrick Gaspard in conversation with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI). Sam Ricketts, senior fellow at CAP, moderated a panel discussion with Cindy Estrada of United Auto Workers, Carolina Martinez of the Environmental Health Coalition, and Terry Travis of EVNoire. The discussion highlighted the importance of a unionized workforce and environmental justice advocacy in the transition to electric vehicles, and the extensive progress made both in Michigan and at the federal level in decarbonizing transportation, especially through the bipartisan infrastructure law.
- How States Can Use the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law To Enhance Their Climate Action Efforts, Center for American Progress, March 23, 2022
This report describes how states can leverage various programs in the bipartisan infrastructure law to get closer to meeting their emissions reduction targets.
- Fighting Climate Change, From Capitol Hill to City Hall: How 8 States and Cities Are Mobilizing Whole-of-Government Climate Action, Center for American Progress, January 26, 2022
This report details case studies from six states and two cities to help inform how the United States can enact a whole-of-government approach to climate action.
- A Single Courageous State: Climate, Jobs, and Justice, Episode 4, Center for American Progress, September 17, 2021
In this video, former state Sen. Chloe Maxmin (D) and state Rep. Scott Cuddy (D) discuss Maine’s clean energy progress, just transition, lessons learned for federal policymakers, and more.
- A Single Courageous State: Climate, Jobs, and Justice, Episode 3, Center for American Progress, September 10, 2021
In this video, Sean O’Leary of the Ohio River Valley Institute, Nancy Hirsh of the Centralia Coal Transition Board, and Emmett Pepper of Energy Efficient West Virginia discuss how the retirement of a coal plant successfully led to local economic development and how the Centralia model can apply to other communities.
- A Single Courageous State: Climate, Jobs, and Justice, Episode 2, Center for American Progress, July 20, 2021
In this video, state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-IL) discusses his state’s ongoing efforts to enact a 100 percent clean energy standard, reduce transportation pollution, lower utility bills, and meet the environmental justice mandate.
- A Single Courageous State: Climate, Jobs, and Justice, Episode 1, Center for American Progress, July 9, 2021
In this video, state Rep. Jamie Long (D) discusses Minnesota’s recent progress on clean vehicles, energy efficiency standards, the Line 3 pipeline, just transition, and environmental justice as well as what’s next for the state.
- The Clean Economy Revolution Will Be Unionized, Center for American Progress, July 7, 2021
This report analyzes how individual state and local governments have expanded new and existing clean energy industries, while advancing labor standards, the right to organize, collective bargaining, and equitable access to well-paying jobs.
- Event: The Clean Economy Revolution Will be Unionized, Center for American Progress, July 7, 2021
This virtual event features John Podesta, founder and chair of the Board of Directors of CAP, in conversation with Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. The discussion highlights the important role for federal, state, and local governments to ensure that jobs in the clean energy economy can be family-supporting union jobs.
- Learning From California’s Ambitious Climate Policy, Center for American Progress, April 16, 2021
This report describes California’s whole-of-government approach to climate policy and how the Biden administration can translate the state’s successes to the federal level.
- Three things Biden can do to unleash state and local climate action, The Hill, March 18, 2021
This op-ed outlines suggestions for the Biden administration to leverage partnerships with state, local, and Tribal leaders in order to confront the climate crisis.
- Mapping Environmental Justice in the Biden-Harris Administration, Center for American Progress, February 4, 2021
This report analyzes California’s environmental justice screening tool, CalEnviroScreen, which uses data, metrics, and technology to help allocate climate action resources to disadvantaged communities.
- The Biden Administration Brings State Climate Leadership to the White House, Center for American Progress, January 19, 2021
This issue brief lauds President Joe Biden’s picks for his climate Cabinet and notes that a number of them have state climate leadership credentials that will help inform their time in federal service.
- The secret weapon in Biden’s fight against climate change, The Hill, November 14, 2020
This op-ed highlights the groundswell of support for climate action across state, local, and Tribal governments and how the Biden administration can build off their progress.
- State Climate Leadership Is Coming to the Nation’s Capital in 2021, Center for American Progress, November 9, 2020
This column analyzes a number of critical national election results from states with strong climate, justice, and clean energy policies, making the case that state climate leadership is headed to Washington, D.C.
- States Are Laying a Road Map for Climate Leadership, Center for American Progress, April 30, 2020
This issue brief summarizes climate, environmental justice, and labor successes across power, transportation, building, and other sectors at the state level.
- A 100 Percent Clean Future, Center for American Progress, October 10, 2019
This report lays out strategies for achieving a net-zero economy in just three decades.