Tribal Climate and Energy - Resources and Opportunities
Investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and waste reduction can help tribal communities in many ways: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, saving money, becoming self-sufficient in energy production, and increasing their resilience to climate change impacts. Each approach can be adapted to meet local needs.
- Improving energy efficiency can reduce energy bills and make homes and buildings more comfortable, often at a lower cost to consumers.
- Better energy efficiency may also make it possible to use small-scale renewable energy systems, which could bring electricity to places that either do not have reliable access or do not have access at all.
- Onsite renewable energy generation may not only increase overall access to electricity, but also provide jobs and reduce storm or wildfire disruptions.
- Waste reduction and recycling programs could offer new business opportunities for tribes even as they help reduce energy use and air pollution and improve the local environment.
The resources on this page provide information on achieving many community goals, including developing programs, writing guidance, and finding financing to get started. Click on any tab to the right to get started.
Choctaw Health Energy Living Program
The Choctaw Nation’s Healthy Energy Living Program (Project HELP) promotes energy efficiency improvements and education throughout the Choctaw Nation Indian Hospital System. It includes conducting lighting retrofit projects and working with staff and patients on a sustainable energy educational program. The program has resulted in over $20,000 of annual energy savings. View the complete case study.
Santa Ynez Chumash Community Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Renewable Energy Project
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is creating jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and associated costs. The tribe developed a job-training program designed to subsidize building performance assessments, energy efficiency retrofits, and solar installations on residential, commercial, and government buildings. For more project information, see the complete case study here.
Rincon Resort and Casino Energy Retrofit Project
The Harrah’s Rincon Resort and Casino on the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians land on Southern California recently completed an energy retrofit project that replaced 10,000 lighting fixtures, saving over $570,000 in annual energy and labor costs. For more project information, see the complete case study here.
Washoe Tribe Building Benchmarking, Audit, and Retrofit Project
Improving Energy Efficiency and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Northern Cheyenne Tribe (southeastern Montana)
This Climate Showcase Community used its grant to fund energy retrofits to the Tribal Environmental Protection Department building. Goals were to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to develop energy efficiency and building-retrofitting skills among community members.
The tribe Exitpartnered with Lakota Solar Enterprises, the local tribal college, the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy and others to complete the project and to develop multiple training courses for community members.
- Energy Efficiency and Tribes
- Tribal Benefits of Energy Efficiency
- Energy Efficiency Opportunities
Energy Efficiency and Tribes
According to the Intertribal Council On Utility PolicyExit, up to ninety cents of every dollar a tribe spends on energy is spent outside of their community. Improving energy efficiency not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere from energy use, but also lowers energy costs and creates local economic development opportunities.
Read on to learn about programs, guidance, case studies, financing and tools to support energy efficiency in tribal communities.
Tribal Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Improving energy efficiency is one of the most affordable and immediate ways to improve energy self-sufficiency, control energy costs, improve local air quality and public health, and limit a community’s carbon emissions and insulate its exposure to climate impacts. The many benefits of energy efficiency include:
- Health & Environment - Using energy efficient products reduces harmful air pollution, which improves local air quality and reduces our impacts on natural resources. It also helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change, reducing health and environmental impacts on current and future generations.
- Economic - Improving energy efficiency costs significantly less than investing in local energy generation. Energy efficiency can also strengthen the local economy, and lower energy billsfor families, businesses, schools, and tribal governments.
- Housing - Improving insulation, plugging air leaks and using energy efficient heating and cooling systems can make homes more comfortable and controls energy costs.
Energy Efficiency Opportunities
There are many ways for tribes to become more energy efficient:
- Building Codes - Building codes have many benefits when properly developed and implemented. Tribes, as sovereign nations, may adopt codes for construction on tribal lands that encourage or require sustainable, culturally appropriate, healthy and affordable buildings.
- Building Energy Audits - Energy audits give home and building owners a sense of how energy is being used and what can be done to use less energy and to save money. Some electric utilities offer free energy audits and financial incentives.
- Heating and Cooling – Maintenance and use of programmable thermostats, heat reflecting roofing materials, and passive solar heating and cooling all reduce energy demand.
- Air Sealing and Insulation – Sealing and insulating of a home – its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors- is often the most cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Sealing heating and cooling ducts can help improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems.
- Energy Efficient Equipment – Save energy and fight climate change with ENERGY STAR certified products. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. Learn how to save energy at home with ENERGY STAR.
- Power Generation - Switching out old, inefficient motors and generators for newer models reduces electricity costs, and bolsters tribal energy self-sufficiency. Just make sure to dispose of old models in the proper way.
- U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy provides financial and technical assistance for tribes to evaluate and develop renewable energy resources and reduce energy consumption.
- U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income families reduce their energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.
- ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program that helps governments, businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate by using efficient products and practices.
- U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a voluntary program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Among other benefits, LEED-certified buildings conserve energy and water, reduce waste, and lower operating costs.
- The Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. (RurAL CAP)Exit runs the VISTA Energy ProgramExit, which helps rural Alaskan communities reduce their energy bills through energy efficiency education, planning and capacity building for both energy efficiency and renewable energy options.
- The Intertribal Council on Utility PolicyExit provides policy analysis and recommendations as well as workshops on climate change research, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy planning to member tribes in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming.
- Native Power: A Handbook on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Native American Communities. This Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory publication provides basic information about energy efficiency projects that may be useful to tribes.
- Energy Resource Library. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy provides links to dozens of resources related to tribal energy development and energy efficiency.
- EPA's Tribal Green Building Tools for Tribes. This website provides examples of building code approaches, templates, documents, and policies that are being developed and used by tribes to support sustainable, culturally appropriate, healthy, and affordable buildings.
- Sustainable Energy Opportunities: Best Practices for Alaska Tribes. This EPA guide provides background information, case studies and resources for sustainable energy project planning in Alaska Native communities.
- The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)Exit is a non-profit organization that represents the rights of American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Among other things, it advocates on land and natural resource issues as they relate to tribes.
- Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series. This series of EPA guides provides an overview of greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. Topics cover energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy.
- ENERGY STAR Building Upgrade Manual. This EPA manual helps building owners and operators implement profitable energy-saving building upgrades.
- Guidelines for Energy Management. These EPA Guidelines provide an energy management strategy with tools and resources based on successful practices of ENERGY STAR partners to assist at each step along the way.
- Green Homes and Communities. This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development webpage provides links to resources to help communities develop effective energy, environmental, and sustainable development solutions.
- The Residential Energy Services NetworkExit is a directory of certified energy auditors.
- Tax Credits, Rebates & Savings. This U.S. Department of Energy webpage provides information on funding opportunities for a wide range of entities, including tribal governments, for energy efficiency projects.
- The Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides information regarding the Tribal Energy Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program. The program works to promote the development of a variety of energy efficiency technologies.
- Guide to Federal Financing for Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Deployment. This U.S. Department of Energy resource guide lists federal financing programs for which energy efficiency and clean energy qualify. It is meant to make it easier for state, local and tribal leaders, along with their partners in the private sector, to find capital for energy efficiency and clean energy projects.
- USDA’s Energy Matrix helps individuals, organizations and tribal governments search for alternative and affordable energy solutions, funding for projects, available programs and program information, or research and development.
- EPA’s Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that allows building owners and managers to track and assess energy and water consumption across their entire portfolio of buildings online.
- EPA’s Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple assessment of your home’s annual energy use compared to similar homes.
- Subscribe for updates from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy.
- Subscribe for updates from the Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse, run by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development.
Using Green Power to Protect the Environment, Save Money – Forest County Potawatomi Community (Crandon, Wisconsin)
After completing an energy audit and undertaking energy efficiency initiatives, this EPA Green Power Partner purchased renewable energy credits and installed a 132-panel solar array on an administrative building in Milwaukee. In 2013, the Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) plans to complete construction of an anaerobic digester at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino, with a goal of offsetting 30 percent of the energy costs for the FCPC.
In total, the FCPC uses 100 percent renewable energy, either purchased or from onsite resources, for their electricity needs.
Learn from Other Tribes
- Renewable Energy and Tribes
- Tribal Benefits of Renewable Energy
- Renewable Energy Opportunities
Renewable Energy and Tribes
There is great potential to develop clean, renewable energy resources on tribal lands. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates (PDF)(56pp, 4.4M, About PDF) that tribal lands comprise 2% of U.S. land but contain 5% of all U.S. renewable energy resources. Many tribal lands are well-situated to meet their own energy needs as well as contribute to regional and national demand for renewable energy.
Read on to learn about programs, guidance, case studies and financing to support energy and energy infrastructure development on tribal lands.
Tribal Benefits of Renewable Energy
Investing in renewable energy technologies could provide many benefits for tribes:
- Economic - Renewable energy infrastructure can help protect communities from fluctuations in both the supply and price of conventional energy sources, build tribal economic stability through a steady revenue stream, and contribute to tribal energy security and self-determination by providing sustainable energy for tribal needs.
- Employment and Education - Local energy production or utility-scale facilities can create new jobs in manufacturing, operations, and maintenance. Installing wind turbines, solar heaters, and solar panels in the community provides opportunities for hands-on education and training for skilled technical careers.
- Health and Environment - Renewable energy produces few air pollutants and can help improve local air quality and people’s health and quality of life, all while causing minimal disruption to the environment.
- Housing and Community Resources - Onsite renewable power can provide electricity in rural areas underserved by the existing power grid, and contribute to tribal energy self-sufficiency.
- Climate Change and Extreme Weather - Developing local renewable energy resources improves community resilience to climate change impacts and extreme weather disruptions.
Renewable Energy Opportunities
While there are many renewable energy sources for tribes to pursue, each one comes with trade-offs and potential environmental and aesthetic impacts. Each community will have to weigh the value of clean local energy against the potential land and water impacts caused by new renewable energy sources.
- Solar (photovoltaic, solar thermal) – Solar technologies can be scaled to provide onsite energy for homes, buildings or large installations that provide energy for the utility grid.
- Wind – Wind power can be produced by a single stand-alone turbine, a small-scale system that is connected to an existing power grid, or a utility-scale wind farm comprised of hundreds to thousands of turbines.
- Hydropower – Hydropower plants convert the energy of moving water to electricity. Large- and small-scale hydropower technologies can produce energy, supply water, and control flooding.
- Biomass and Biofuels – Utility-scale and small-scale distributed biomass power projects can be powered by locally-available, sustainably-produced feedstocks (animal and municipal solid wastes, wood or crop residues, or crops used to produce energy), and can transmit electricity across a large area or for a single home or small community. Biomass can also be converted to biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is produced by fermentation from crops like corn, sorghum, and sugar cane and used as gasoline. Biodiesel is produced from left-over food products like vegetable oils and animal fats, mostly from restaurants. Many tribes are using biodiesel to fuel tribal fleets.
- Geothermal – Geothermal energy is heat from the earth that can be used to heat and cool homes or to run utility-scale power plants. It can also be used to heat greenhouses and to dry crops. Most of the U.S. geothermal potential is in the western states where tribal populations are also concentrated.
- U.S. Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program provides financial and technical assistance for tribes to evaluate and develop renewable energy resources and reduce energy consumption. The website provides information about funding opportunities, existing projects, education and training, and technical assistance.
- The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development helps Indian communities gain economic self-sufficiency through the development of their energy and mineral resources.
- The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Renewable Energy Opportunities website is a portal for tribes to present opportunities for industries to build new facilities on tribal lands.
- ITEP’s Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center (TCERC) is a multi-disciplinary collaborative that helps tribal professionals develop expertise and capacity in the clean and renewable energy fields, and advances the development of clean and renewable energy sources on tribal lands.
- EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program provides technical and communications assistance and recognition opportunities to organizations that use renewable energy to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use.
- Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) is a coalition of entities interested in developing Alaska’s renewable energy sources.
- Lakota Solar Enterprises is the first Native American-owned and operated renewable energy company. It offers jobs training and manufactures solar heating systems.
- Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, an offshoot of Lakota Solar Enterprises, is an educational facility where tribes from all over the nation can receive hands-on training on renewable energy applications from fellow Native American trainers.
- Solar Energy International is a nonprofit educational organization that helps others use renewable energy resources and sustainable building technologies through training and technical assistance.
- U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy provides a resource library with links to over 85 publications and websites that promote tribal energy development. The Office also offers resources relating to education and training, including links to the Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series.
- Guide to Tribal Energy Development. This U.S. Department of Energy guide outlines a process of strategic energy planning for tribes and provides a gateway for tribal decision makers and staff to assess all energy options, including renewable sources and fossil fuels.
- Developing Clean Energy Projects on Tribal Lands: Data and Resources for Tribes (PDF) (76 pp, 4.6M, About PDF). This U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy document provides estimates of renewable energy potential on tribal lands.
- Renewable Energy Development in Indian Country: A Handbook for Tribes (PDF)(104 pp, 2.6M, About PDF). This U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) guide builds on the feedback and experiences shared by participants during a series of NREL tribal energy workshops. The guide provides overviews and detailed discussions about the background and logistics of developing and financing renewable energy projects on tribal lands.
- Native Power: A Handbook on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Native American Communities. This handbook from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides a practical introduction to energy efficiency and renewable energy with information about the types of energy projects that may be useful to tribal communities.
- Building Green Economies on Tribal Lands. This document from the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development at the Bureau of Indian Affairs highlights opportunities for tribes to develop renewable energy resources.
- The Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse provides general information about energy resources. Learn about development, environmental impacts, legal requirements, mitigation measures, government programs, and case studies.
- The Sustainable Nations Development Project provides resources related to renewable energy development, including their Renewable Energy for Tribes Guide, which discusses assessing potential, how to protect tribal interests, financing, and provides case study examples.
- The New Energy Future in Indian Country: Confronting Climate Change, Creating Jobs, and Conserving Nature, from the National Wildlife Federation, provides an overview for renewable energy possibilities in Indian Country, with detailed case studies.
- The Tribal Energy Development Template (PDF), from the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and the U.S. Department of the Interior, is a primer designed to provide fundamental information to interested tribes, their partners, and potential investors necessary when planning, building and operating successful energy projects on tribal lands.
- Using Renewable Energy on Tribal Lands. This paper from the U.S. Department of Energy explores tribal efforts to develop renewable energy sources in the 1990s.
- Grants for Tribes from EPA
- Tribal Energy Program, Financial Opportunities from the U.S. Department of Energy
- Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs Funding Opportunities from the U.S. Department of Energy
- Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Information from the U.S. Department of Energy
- Federal Finance Facilities Available for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Clean Energy Deployment from the U.S. Department of Energy
- Renewable Energy Development in Indian Country: A Handbook for Tribes(104 pp, 2.6M, About PDF) from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, provides details about how to finance a project in Chapter 7
- Database for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
- Guide to Purchasing Green Power from EPA
- Information on Power Purchase Agreements from EPA
- Subscribe for updates from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy
- Subscribe for updates from the Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse, run by the U.S. Department’s of Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development
- Subscribe for updates from EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Learn from Other Tribes
The Gila River Indian Community Recycling Program
The Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) has been expanding its recycling program since it began in 1995 with a cardboard initiative. With the assistance of a Climate Showcase Communities Grant, broad partnerships, and community participation, GRIC established a residential recycling program that now offers bimonthly curbside collection in the participating districts. As of October 2012, the 18th month of the program, GRIC residents had recycled 117 tons of materials (~6 tons monthly) with 40% participation, and had reduced emissions by 327 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. View more information about the GRIC project.
- Tribal Solid Waste and Materials Management
- Tribal Benefits of Solid Waste and Materials Management
- Solid Waste and Materials Management Opportunities
Tribal Solid Waste and Materials Management
Waste disposal can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in the following ways:
- Waste incineration, or burning trash, emits carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 310 times as potent as CO2.
- Transporting waste to disposal sites is typically done with trucks that burn fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases.
- Decomposition of wastes in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times as potent as CO2.
Using fewer disposable materials, reusing products, recycling what is no longer usable, and recovering energy created during the disposal process are all opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, managing waste responsibly can protect tribal lands from pollution, serve as an energy source, and produce high-quality soil amendments (e.g. mulch, compost or fertilizers).
Read on to learn about programs, guidance, case studies, and financing that support tribal solid waste and materials management.
Tribal Benefits of Solid Waste and Materials Management
- Environment - Current waste management practices can contaminate/degrade local water and air quality; alternative approaches avoid pollution, improving air and water quality. Recycling also reduces the need to harvest or mine virgin resources such as trees, oil and minerals, thus preserving the environment.
- Economic - Alternative approaches to waste management provide opportunities for new economic development such as compost facilities and recycling programs, both of which may create jobs and marketable products.
- Cultural - Waste management may help protect cultural values by conserving vital resources and minimizing the environmental impact of materials throughout their entire life cycles, ensuring that tribal resources will be available for future generations.
- Health - Burning and storing waste can lead to local health concerns; alternative materials management approaches avoid pollution, improving air quality and the health of residents.
Solid Waste and Materials Management Opportunities
There are many ways for tribes to benefit from transitioning to more sustainable solid waste and materials management:
- Recycling – Manufacturing goods from recycled materials generally uses less energy and results in lower greenhouse emissions than producing goods from virgin materials. Source reduction and recycling also help to increase carbon storage in forests by limiting the need to cut down trees for raw materials, preserve oil and natural gas resources, and reduce the environmental impacts associated with aluminum and steel production. For more information about common recyclables, visit the U.S. EPA's “How Do I Recycle?” webpage.
- Responsible Appliance Disposal – Collection and proper recycling of older refrigerant-containing appliances saves energy, prevents emissions of greenhouse gases and substances that harm the ozone layer, and helps keep communities clean by preventing appliance dumping and release of hazardous materials such as mercury and PCBs. EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program has more information about appliance recycling best practices.
- Composting – Food scraps, yard trimmings, and compostable products can be diverted from the landfill into home composting or industrial composting facilities. Organic waste can be turned into high-quality soil amendments (e.g. mulch, compost, and fertilizers), which can be sold or used in agricultural or landscaping operations. Organic waste disposed of in a landfill contributes to methane emissions and leachate that result from landfilling.
- Combustion with Energy Recovery – Energy recovery at incineration facilities and landfills helps conserve resources by reducing the use of fossil fuels. The recovery and use of landfill gas also helps reduce methane emissions from landfills. EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program can help tribes assess project feasibility, find financing, and market the benefits of project development to the community. Tribes can also earn revenue from selling Landfill Gas Energy directly to end users or into the pipeline, or from selling electricity generated from landfill gas to the grid. Learn about energy recovery options here.
- Consumer Reduction and Reuse – Using fewer disposable goods and reusing goods that still work prevents pollution, saves energy and money, and helps preserve the environment for future generations. For more information about the benefits of and opportunities to reduce waste and reuse products, visit the U.S. EPA’s Reducing and Reusing Basics website.
- EPA’s Waste Management in Indian Country webpage provides basic information on the EPA’s Tribal Solid Waste Management Program, local programs, grants and funding, education, case studies, and publications.
- EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program introduces a systematic approach that seeks to reduce material use and associated environmental impacts over the entire product life cycle.
- The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals’ Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center (TCERC) provides information about tribal energy development, including waste to energy projects.
Solid Waste and Sustainable Materials Management
- Tribal Decision Maker’s Guide to Solid Waste Management. This EPA guide provides an overview of solid waste management and includes more than 40 tribal case studies and examples.
- Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead. This EPA publication establishes a framework to implement a system-wide impacts and life-cycle materials management approach to industrial and product design.
- Tribal Evaluation Concept, developed by EPA, is a list of seven indicators that tribes can use to evaluate their waste management programs, indicating appropriate measures that should be taken with regard to each indicator.
- 3 Steps to Developing a Tribal Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP). This 2-page EPA pamphlet describes how to develop a tribal IWMP.
- The Solid Waste Handbook, written by L.J. Weber, Director of Solid Waste Management for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, provides practical information that helps Indian Nations refine or build programs to manage solid waste in a manner that addresses environmental, economic, and community priorities.
- The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Tribal Workgroup provides links to a variety of tribal waste management resources.
- The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals administers a Tribal Solid Waste Education and Assistance Program. The program includes links to courses previously offered in the program, including guidance on developing solid waste management plans and utilizing recycling strategies.
Resource Conservation and Recovery
Resource Conservation and Recovery: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs. This EPA guide describes the process of developing and implementing resource conservation and recovery measures, using real-world examples.
- Recycling Guide for Native American Nations. This EPA webpage explains how to develop a collection program and how to start a recycling manufacturing business.
- RAD Refrigerator Recycling Pilot Program in Indian Country: Yakama Nation Case Study. This EPA case study provides an overview and evaluation of a refrigerator recycling program designed to benefit a tribal community.
Landfill Gas Energy RecoveryLandfill Gas Energy, A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs. This EPA guide describes how local governments can achieve energy, environmental, health, and economic benefits by using landfill gas recovered from municipal solid waste landfills.
- Tribal Solid Waste Program Costing Tool. This EPA tool was developed to help tribes determine the economic feasibility of tribal-operated waste management services.
- Waste Reduction Model (WARM). This EPA tool is intended to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas emissions reductions from several different waste management practices.
- Policy and Program Impact Estimator. This EPA calculator expands the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) framework to include a community's existing waste stream and policy and program options. Designed to help municipalities, counties, and tribes estimate reductions in life cycle GHGs from implementing new or expanded solid waste policies and programs.
- Resource Conservation and Recovery: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs. This EPA guide includes a chapter on costs and funding opportunities.
- USDA’s Solid Waste Management Grant Program provides technical assistance and/or training to help communities manage solid waste.
Tribal communities can also benefit from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change in other ways:
- Clean energy jobs can provide employment for tribal members. See the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Education and Workforce Development pages for more information.
- Adoption of tribal green building codes to ensure safe, sustainable, affordable, and culturally appropriate buildings on tribal lands.
- Energy efficiency improvements, using renewable energy and waste reduction programs can all help improve air quality and improve public health. For more information, visit EPA’s report – Assessing the Multiple Benefits of Clean Energy.
- Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies vary across the country and across sectors. EPA’s Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation pages explain how communities can improve their future resilience and quality of life by planning and preparing today for climate change impacts of the future.
- EPA’s Environmental Protection in Indian Country website provides environmental information for tribal communities. For local support, see the list of EPA Tribal Program Managers.
- EPA’s Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program partners Tribal College and University professors with EPA scientists to address the environmental problems most important to their tribal communities.
- The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development helps Indian communities gain economic self-sufficiency through the development of their energy and mineral resources.
- The National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) Climate Change pageExit offers information on climate change policy concerning tribal rights.
- The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP)Exit at Northern Arizona University provides information on climate change impacts and adaptation. In addition to providing a robust library of technical and procedural resources online, ITEP provides training workshops and works directly with tribes across the country.
- The Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Project at the University of Oregon and EPA’s Region 10 Tribal Program Office developed the Tribal Climate Change Funding GuideExit. It features information on grants that may help tribes combat the impacts of climate change.
- DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs
- DOI Tribal Energy and Information Clearinghouse
- EPA's Climate Showcase Communities
- EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
- EPA Tribal Greenhouse Gas Inventory Tool
- Institute for Tribal Environmental ProfessionalsExit
- Northern Arizona University: Tribes and Climate ChangeExit