How do we co-create equitable building decarbonization solutions and policies with local communities? 

This toolkit explores the concept of a community accountability board (CAB), scrutinizing the viability of its framework and core principles as a model for community empowerment while examining the most salient challenges to such a transition of power and governance. It focuses on CABs under a larger building performance standard (BPS)—or similar emission-reduction, energy-saving program—within a governmental framework. Aimed at both community-based organizations and government entities considering the initiation of a CAB, this toolkit considers the foundational aspects, potential challenges, and strategic considerations inherent in establishing and operating CABs through a comprehensive exploration of best practices, legal considerations, and real-life experiences of our cohort participants. CABs can be effective bodies for stewarding climate progress when they are resourced to collaborate with a local government on community priorities and empowered with direct decision-making authority over the impacts on their community

“Transforming Climate Governance With Community Accountability Boards” is the result of a six-month collaboration between the Institute of Market Transformation (IMT) and the participants of IMT’s Community Accountability Board cohort. The collaborators bring decades of experience working on a variety of climate-related issues within local communities and advancing decarbonization policies in local government.

Members of the cohort include representatives from community-based organizations (Alternatives for Community and Environment; Grassroots Impact; People for Community Recovery; POWER Philadelphia; Strategic Actions for a Just Economy; Verde) and city governments (Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA). Legal support was provided by the Public Health Law Center.

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