The $12.7 million Climate Smart Communities Initiative aims to scale up and accelerate climate adaptation and resilience efforts using existing tools and methods. The funding was awarded to a consortium of climate adaptation experts led by the Climate Resilience Fund. The project team will co-develop equitable climate resilience plans with local governments and organizations over the next four years.

When choosing where to work, the initiative will prioritize FEMA’s Community Disaster Resilience Zones, which are census tracts that contain high risk as well as underserved populations. Resilience planning will help protect people, property, infrastructure and natural resources from climate-related hazards. Using the toolkit for adaptation planning, communities throughout the southeastern U.S. have already realized a return on investment of more than five times their cost

In this cooperative agreement, a community is defined as any municipal, county, tribal, regional or state government entity. A climate-smart community is defined as a community that has done the following

  • successfully evaluated climate information to prioritize potential impacts;
  • developed a plan; identified funding;
  • and taken action to build resilience to those hazards.

Together, these actions comprise the Steps to Resilience

The Climate-Smart Communities Initiative will work inclusively with every selected community to co-produce an equitable resilience plan. The program will support efforts to get each plan funded or financed – through public or private means – so that it reaches the implementation phase. 

Please visit the Inflation Reduction Act website to learn about current and future funding opportunities.

For more information, contact Ned Gardiner at