This week, federal, state and local officials met in New York to discuss the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. The meeting was prompted by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is seeking to educate city and regional leaders across the country about the expected consequences in the years to come, so that they may better prepare to deal with climate change impacts.
The leaders stressed the need to prepare communities for extreme weather events, pointing to examples such as Hurricane Sandy, which struck the eastern seaboard in 2012. So how are communities to respond? Governmental and agency officials stressed a multipronged approach, which includes immediate actions to reduce emissions from burning of fossil fuels, and investing in infrastructure to mitigate climate change effects.
By implementing ambitious greenhouse gas reduction programs, a cap and trade system, and directing funds to resiliency programs—city leaders have shown that they are certainly up to the challenge. Leadership in New York, at multiple levels, is an example of what municipal leaders everywhere can do to prepare for climate change.
Federal, state and city officials met Tuesday morning in Manhattan to voice concerns on the threat of climate change and urge New York to use every tool they have to prepare for global warming and mitigate its hazards.
"Your staff is to be commended for picking the hottest day of the year so far for this hearing," the Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator Judith Enck told the state Assembly Work Group on Climate Change, a special committee chaired by Assemblyman Steve Englebright.
But the levity was short-lived.
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