ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
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The Five Milestone Process
Local governments join the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign by passing a resolution pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their local government operations and throughout their communities. To help cities achieve their goals, ICLEI then assists the cities undertake the CCP's five milestones.

The five milestones of the CCP and the methodology behind provide a simple, standardized means of calculating greenhouse gas emissions, of establishing targets to lower emissions, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and of monitoring, measuring and reporting performance. ICLEI has developed several software tools that help cities comply with the methodology.
The five milestones are:

Milestone 1. Conduct a baseline emissions inventory and forecast. Based on energy consumption and waste generation, the city calculates greenhouse gas emissions for a base year (e.g. 2000) and for a forecast year (e.g. 2015). The inventory and forecast provide a benchmark against which the city can measure progress.

Milestone 2. Adopt an emissions reduction target for the forecast year. The city establishes an emission reduction target for the city. The target both fosters political will and creates a framework to guide the planning and implementation of measures.

Milestone 3. Develop a Local Action Plan. Through a multi-stakeholder process, the city develops a Local Action Plan that describes the policies and measures that the local government will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve its emissions reduction target. Most plans include a timeline, a description of financing mechanisms, and an assignment of responsibility to departments and staff. In addition to direct greenhouse gas reduction measures, most plans also incorporate public awareness and education efforts.

Milestone 4. Implement policies and measures. The city implements the policies and measures contained in their Local Action Plan. Typical policies and measures implemented by CCP participants include energy efficiency improvements to municipal buildings and water treatment facilities, streetlight retrofits, public transit improvements, installation of renewable power applications, and methane recovery from waste management.

Milestone 5. Monitor and verify results. Monitoring and verifying progress on the implementation of measures to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions is an ongoing process. Monitoring begins once measures are implemented and continues for the life of the measures, providing important feedback that can be use to improve the measures over time.

The five milestones provide a flexible framework that can accommodate varying levels of analysis, effort, and availability of data. This element makes the CCP both unique and innovative, by increasing its transferability amongst local governments. It is the breadth of this program that enables it to cross north/south, developed/developing, metropolis/town boundaries and that has made it successful worldwide.