Delaware Creates Climate Leadership Academy 

April 25, 2022 by Kate Michael
Delaware Creates Climate Leadership Academy 

WASHINGTON — Late last year Delaware Gov. John Carney unveiled a state climate action plan that was two years in the making, and he made strides recently toward partnering with higher education to help reach communities that may be adversely affected by climate change. 

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has partnered with the Association of Climate Change Officers, which administers the Certified Climate Change Professional and other credentialing programs to begin offering training through a Delaware Climate Leadership Academy this spring. 

The purpose of the academy is to provide training that integrates concepts of climate change mitigation and adaptation into the decision-making process. It will also be an opportunity for participants to network and collaborate on challenges and opportunities.

In this first iteration, state agencies and local governments can receive instruction on understanding climate science and assessing vulnerability; the basics of greenhouse gas accounting, reporting and disclosure; engaging organizational and community stakeholders to lead change; the economics of climate change; and managing climate risk.


While Delaware’s Climate Leadership Academy is state-specific to help stakeholders understand how climate change is impacting Delaware, ACCO has provided training to more than 1,000 practitioners in public and private sectors. Most recently, it developed similar training and climate leadership academies for Maryland and Pennsylvania.

These academies are meant to help the respective states to best prepare for unique climate change challenges and how state actors can take advantage of opportunities for improving resilience and reducing emissions.


“Delawareans expect their state agencies and local governments to provide solutions to a range of issues impacting our communities,” Carney said in a release. 

“Climate change affects every corner of state and local government operations — from preparing our labor force for the jobs of tomorrow to providing clean drinking water to [the] collection of revenues — and that’s why it is critically important that we build climate change knowledge and skills in our state and local workforce. Delaware’s Climate Leadership Academy is a meaningful step forward in making sure we are prepared to respond to the global climate change challenge.”

For Delaware, this includes a focus on adapting to increasing temperatures, precipitation, flooding and sea level rise.

According to Annina Northridge CC-P, the climate policy planner in the Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy who is administering DNREC’s Climate Leadership Academy, the curriculum in this training series is targeted toward leaders and staff in state and local government agencies with roles related to resilience, sustainability, environment, engineering, planning, infrastructure, energy, health, agriculture, emergency management, operations, facility or risk management. 

Upon completion of the program, candidates will satisfy elective requirements to become a candidate for the Certified Climate Change Professional exams and become a candidate for the professional CC-P credential offered through ACCO.


Registration for the spring session, which Northridge described as “strong … more than 100 requests to enroll,” is currently closed, though training is planned to be offered again in the fall to a larger audience of nongovernmental stakeholders.

Kate can be reached at [email protected]

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