Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions form the core of a climate action plan (CAP). The emissions reduction strategies (also frequently called mitigation strategies) are the actions, programs, and policies that a community undertakes to reach its GHG emissions reduction targets. Common examples include constructing new bicycle paths, providing incentives for installation of solar panels, and requiring that new development meet strict energy efficiency or “green” building standards. The development of these strategies is an iterative process that should balance the GHG reduction potential, upfront and ongoing costs, and social and political feasibility. Most reduction strategies have benefits beyond emissions reduction; these are called co-benefits. For example, reducing GHG emissions can also lower ground-level ozone concentrations in a community, which will yield public health benefits, especially for those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions. The development of reduction strategies should be seen as an opportunity not only to reduce GHG emissions and the progression of climate change but as a chance to position a community to become more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.

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