Planning for Sustainability and Climate Action

Overview of Local Climate Action Planning Efforts 

Elgin has a history of taking actions and supporting efforts to be a more sustainable community. Planning documents can be found below, followed by a summary of planning efforts. 



Timeline of Local and Regional Climate Action Planning Efforts 

Note, Climate Action Planning is not isolated to the Elgin community. The following provides information on regional efforts and plans made to build a more sustainable communities, with the collaboration of multiple agencies. 

Elgin first began work to develop a Sustainable City Master Plan (SMP) intended to shape future development by addressing community, governmental, and development related practices, making them more environmentally sustainable. It is to encompass many aspects of sustainability including review of existing policies and plans, infrastructure and community development, resource consumption and energy conservation.

2010 After completion of Phase I of the SMP, there was a desire from City staff, citizen working groups and elected officials for a more community-based, structured planning process. Over 100 residents assisted in the development of Elgin's Sustainability Action Plan.

2011 Elgin Sustainabiltiy logoElgin City Council adopted the Sustainability Action Plan, which included goals and objectives from citizen working groups on nine areas of sustainability: Alternative Energy, Economic Development, Green Building Technology, Green Infrastructure, Healthy Living and Community Education, Recycling and Waste Management, Transportation and Mobility, Urban Design and Water Resources. The Sustainability Commission was formed to oversee implementation of the plan.
2015 solar farmElgin passes an ordinance making it easier for homeowners and businesses to have solar and wind energy.

Elgin Community Solar Program

2017 Logo for the Greenest Regional CompactCity adopts the Greenest Region Compact 2 (GRC2) to better align sustainability goals with the greater Chicagoland region. GRC is the largest sustainability collective of communities in the United States.

Also in 2017, Mayor David Kaptain becomes one of the first 11 mayors of U.S. cities to sign a letter stating support for the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Paris Agreement (often called the Paris Climate Accord)

The Paris Agreement was a landmark international agreement reached at COP 21 in Paris, France, on Dec. 12, 2015. Nations who are party to the UNFCCC reached this agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. The central aim is to keep global temperature rise in the 21st century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit it even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius; increase the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change; make finance flows consistent with a low GHG emissions and climate-resilient pathway; put in place a new technology framework and enhanced capacity-building to support action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries; provide for more transparency for action and support.



The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) 2015 Regional Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory was published in 2018. 
  • Click link to CMAP's 2015 Greenhouse Gas Regional Inventory
Following the CMAP 2015 GHG publication, a summary of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated within communities in the seven-county Chicago was published, to support regional climate action planning and efforts.
2020  On June 10, 2020, the City of Elgin adopted a resolution declaring a climate emergency. 
202 On October 27th, 2021, the City Council of the City of Elgin, Illinois, expressed its support for the the goals and objectives of the 2021 Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region proposed by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and pledges to take strategic action to achieve these goals for a more resilient, equitable and healthy future. 

Also in 2021, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, composed of 270 people from 175 organizations, including representatives of 53 municipalities and counties in the Chicago region came together to develop the Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Metropolitan Region

The Plan is one of the first regional climate plans in the United States, and connects to the Greenest Region Compact (GRC2) and the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit’s Steps to Resilience. The Plan sets targets and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop resiliency to climate change impacts. The project also drew on foundational work completed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to inventory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region and assess climate risks.


International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the community of Elgin as well as on local government operations.

Also in 2023, Kane County has taken an active role in the Climate Action Planning process to collaborate with surrounding communities. The plan will join the Greenest Regional Compact communities with 9,200 global cities and 131 countries working to build sustainable and livable communities.