Connecting Climate Priorities to the Budget Process

Bridging the Divide through a Shared Language

Wednesday, April 20, 12:00 PM CST


Governments must continually juggle multiple issues of immediate importance. Resource scarcity and organizational constraints make it difficult to address "new" issues such as Climate Action. But local governments don't have the luxury of not preparing. They have the unique opportunity to prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change. At the local government level, resources and opportunities exist, but they must be reviewed and prioritized for action. Local governments know their communities and their citizens and can create climate action plans customized for the specific circumstances of their communities. 

"We were so excited about what we wanted to do, but our projects continued to be labeled as "unicorn projects" outside of the normal budget process.  Our team and the budget team were speaking in different terms. They were speaking in terms of budget cycles and bond ratings. I realized we needed common terms, and synchronized timing. We needed a climate budget to meet our climate targets." – Grant Ervin, City of Pittsburgh Chief Resilience Officer (former)

Many cities are working through a disconnect between elected officials; Mayor's and City Managers; sustainability, resilience, and equity offices; and budget and finance leaders. Many local governments are dealing with a broader disconnect between emerging priorities and legacy budgeting systems. As cities turn their sights to racial equity, greener transportation, economic recovery, and more, they often find themselves working within a decades-old budget process — one that was established long before governments were actively working towards better climate and equity outcomes.

“The issues and challenges facing local government have changed — but in many cases, our budgeting processes are the same,” says Ervin. “We need to continuously modernize the way we run governments in order to keep delivering on our goals.”

In this webinar, learn how organizations can assemble and activate a climate budget by:

  • Creating a program dataset
  • Measure all programs against climate action goals
  • Develop and apply insights
  • Accelerate investments in infrastructure and initiatives to address the climate challenge
chris fabian bricks
grant ervin climate 4.20

Chris Fabian

ResourceX, CEO & Co-founder

Chris has been invested in solving the problems associated with resource scarcity in local government for over a decade. Through ResourceX, his team provides the software solution for Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) using data and evidence to transparently and exponentially improve results for citizens and the community. PBB is now practiced and applied by over 250 organizations across North America.

ResourceX believes in the purpose of government and its potential to lead the charge in tackling some of the world’s most significant challenges. Empowering the budget increases local government's ability to tackle massive societal challenges, from climate change and homelessness to equity and sustainability, through program identification and resource reallocation. As a thought leader and budget software innovator, we can support local governments in the vital work they do.

Grant Ervin

S&B USA Construction, Director of Environmental Social Governance and Innovation

Grant recently joined S&B USA Construction as Director of Environmental Social Governance and Innovation where he will work to make a regional, national and global impact. Prior to this position, Grant served as the Chief Resilience Officer and Assistant Director for the Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh. In this role, Grant oversaw the integration of sustainability and resilience into City services, programs, and policy.  He worked to make the City of Pittsburgh a smart, sustainable, and resilient city by fostering partnerships, leveraging assets, and finding creative ways to solve problems. He was integral to the City’s implementation of Priority Based Budgeting. Prior to joining the City of Pittsburgh, Grant served as the Regional Director for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide sustainable development policy organization, and as Public Policy Manager for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG).

GFOA Distinguished BudgetProgram Data Just Got More Distinguished...

Learn more about updated GFOA Distinguished Budget Award Eligibility Criteria

GFOA is proud to announce updates to the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award program for budgets beginning on or after 1/1/2021. For more information about program changes or to view updated forms, click here.

Some important changes include:

  • Clearly presented departmental program descriptions
    • A narrative description of the assigned services, functions, programs and activities of organizational units should be included. Major priorities within each organizational unit should also be addressed.
  • Clear linkage between identified programs and goals and objectives
    • This criterion requires that departmental/program goals and objectives be described. The relationship of departmental/program goals to the strategic goals of the entity should be apparent.
OnlinePBB Budgeter (1)-1

OnlinePBB Budgeter

OnlinePBB Budgeter Overview

What is Priority Based Budgeting?

The ResourceX ARPA Strategy