In NYC, leaders from all sectors are converging to explore possible avenues for climate action. With a population of over 8 million, and countless miles of coastline, the city is on the front lines of climate change. This fact was made vividly clear when the city was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Despite the challenges, leaders throughout the city are honing in on several opportunities for mitigating the consequences of climate change, and to be better prepared for future natural disasters.
Following Hurricane Sandy, an innovative new program, RISE: NYC, was created to help residents deal with the aftermath of the disaster. The organization worked, and is now refocusing efforts at preparing for future climate challenges. It is accomplishing this in a number of new and innovative ways.
One way that NYC leaders are taking charge is by providing solar and decentralized energy generation that is less susceptible to outages associated with major natural disasters. Much of these efforts are aimed at empowering communities with the tools to help themselves—building resiliency at the local level. These efforts were expanded by investing in cloud-based technologies and networks, which are embraced by local businesses who gain better access to internet communication, and by residents who see improved services. Cloud based technologies & decentralized energy generation have the added benefit of buffering communities from damages to physical infrastructure that may occur to traditional technologies.
Cities now represent the majority of the world’s greenhouse emissions, and if nothing is done, the trend will surely grow. However, bold action plans like the ones implemented in NYC offer a glimpse into how all cities can work to advance meaningful climate solutions. Find out how to implement climate action plans in your city by visiting Path to Positive Communities.
At the MAS Summit on Friday, NASA climatologist Cynthia Rosenzweig kicked off the day’s session by calling climate change “the most significant environmental and planetary issue of our time.” She’s not alone.
There’s no shortage of experts sounding the alarm that climate could sink New York City — perhaps literally — in a world of cataclysm. Thankfully, most of those experts also share extraordinary optimism that this century’s generations have the tools and ideas necessary to prevent such a doomsday scenario. And the fight against climate change will be nowhere more critical — and nowhere more possible — than in our cities.
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