NYC’s 2015 Climate Change Report Calls for “Bold Action”

A bicyclist makes his way on a flooded New York City street in August 2011. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have set goals to keep New York City ahead of the curve when it comes to combatting the effects of climate change. Yesterday, the New York City Panel on Climate Change released its 2015 report, which focuses on increasing the current and future resiliency of communities, citywide systems and infrastructure around New York City and the broader metropolitan region. The report, “Building the Knowledge Base for Climate Resiliency,” is the first to provide projections through 2100.

“The work of the NPCC provides an opportunity for the City of New York to further define itself at the forefront of climate action among the world’s cities,” said Bill Solecki, who’s NPCC co-chair and a professor of geography at Hunter College. “The NPCC report highlights the vulnerabilities and opportunities for climate resilience of the city’s infrastructure systems and neighborhoods. While the impacts of climate change will be uneven, the conditions for a flexible and robust adaptation strategy are present.”

The report says that by 2050, annual temperatures are projected to rise between 4.1 and 5.7 degrees and sea level is projected to rise 11 to 21 inches. De Blasio is aiming for an 80 percent cut in the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by then.

“The science is clear — our actions since the Industrial Revolution have changed our climate and changed our planet,” said Nilda Mesa, director of the Mayor’s sustainability office. “The challenge ahead may be daunting, but we know there’s no choice but to take bold action to reduce our contributions to climate change, as well as to protect our city from what lies ahead that we cannot prevent.”

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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