Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New York City braces for climate change through panel and task force

Karen Frantz in the Queens Times Ledger: A panel and task force that first convened several years ago to identify ways the city can cope with the local impact of climate change, such as fiercer storms and rising sea levels, will now meet on a regular basis and have an expanded focus.

“Climate change is here and our city must be prepared to deal with this and to have a coordinated response,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) told a news conference at City Hall last week, lauding the passage of legislation institutionalizing the task force and panel.

The legislation, passed unanimously by the Council Aug. 22, is being hailed as the first of its kind among federal, state and local governments.

“It’s great for New York City to be the national leader in greenhouse gas reduction. It’s also great for us to be the leader in climate change adaptation,” Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) said. Gennaro, head of the Council Committee on Environmental Protection, is the author of the legislation.

The New York City Panel on Climate Change, made up of scientific experts on climate change appointed by the mayor and modeled after the International Panel on Climate Change, will now make projections once every three years about the risks rising global temperatures pose to the city.

In addition, the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force will make strategy recommendations for reducing climate change impacts on vulnerable populations, public heath, natural systems and the economy one year after the panel makes its projections....

Lower Manhattan from a helicopter, shot by nosha, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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