Climate Change Policy Guide

By American Planning Association



Advocating for a Safer, More Resilient Future

Climate change is a real threat both in the future and today as communities face accelerating risks now.

Planners have the expertise, perspectives, and skills to lead the local and regional responses to the climate crisis — but require federal and state action to amplify local planning efforts.

APA’s Climate Change Policy Guide positions planners to advocate for the federal and state policies that will empower communities to plan for a safer, more resilient, and carbon-free future.

The guide calls on federal and state lawmakers to focus and act on the following policy areas:

  • Environmental justice
  • Funding
  • Performance-based planning
  • Renewed climate leadership
  • Incentives
  • Planning for electric vehicles and green infrastructure
  • Standards and codes for clean energy and emission reduction
  • Integration of climate goals into local plans

Advancing Federal Climate Action

APA is working closely with Congress and the Biden administration to address the climate crisis through transportation, housing, and land use policies.

Be Part of This Work

Policies to Advance Local Climate Action

This guide also arms planners with guidance for creating locally and regionally tailored climate policies, plans, programs, projects, standards, and regulations.

This guide was approved by the APA Delegate Assembly on October 21, 2020, and ratified by the APA Board of Directors on December 10, 2020.


Page Count
Date Published
Jan. 1, 2021
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

American Planning Association
The American Planning Association provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

Table of Contents


Federal and State Policies
Livable Built Environment Policies
Harmony with Nature
Resilient Economy
Interwoven Equity
Healthy Communities
Responsible Regionalism