Technical Chapters of New York State Climate Impacts Assessment Released
Advances 2024 State of the State Initiative to Improve Resiliency and Prepare for the Impacts for Climate Change
February 2, 2024
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the release of the technical chapters of the Understanding and Preparing for Our Changing Climate Study , continuing to provide New Yorkers with data and information to improve resilience and adaptation in the face of climate change. The multi-year scientific study, which advances the 2024 State of the State initiative to enhance statewide resiliency and preparedness for the impacts of climate change, has eight technical chapters covering how various economic sectors can address rising temperatures and increasing frequency of extreme weather events. Today’s announcement supports the implementation of the State’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
“New Yorkers know too well the devastating impact of storms, extreme heat and flooding due to our changing climate,” Governor Hochul said. “We are arming New Yorkers, businesses, municipalities and industries with the information and tools needed to improve community adaptation and resilience while continuing to lower emissions.”
The study, led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), was a collaboration among academic institutions, science organizations, municipalities, community leaders, industry representatives and New York State agencies and authorities. The technical chapters provide in-depth, detailed observations and projected impacts of climate change on eight sectors: agriculture, buildings, ecosystems, energy, human health and safety, society and economy, transportation, and water resources. The chapters were developed by eight separate technical working groups led by sector experts and representatives from diverse communities and constituencies from across the State and nation including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Indiana and Texas, as well as Canada and members of Indigenous communities. The chapters will be submitted for publication in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences academic journal.
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “NYSERDA is proud to have worked with a wide network of local, regional and national experts to produce this science-based study that can be used as a planning resource to incorporate resiliency and adaption strategies. As our State continues to advance zero-emissions policies and support innovative technologies that will help combat climate change, we also need to work together to lessen the social and economic impact of extreme weather events on our communities.”
The portion of the study focused on climate change projections for New York State that was released in early January included updated data on how the climate has changed and how it will continue to change. The projections, developed by Columbia University, explore temperature, precipitation, extreme events and sea level, based on sophisticated computer models scientists have developed to simulate how the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and other physical features respond to the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere. This work supports Governor Hochul’s comprehensive resiliency plan , as announced in this year’s State of the State, to protect New Yorkers from extreme weather and counter the onslaught of drenching rain, blizzards, sweltering heat and bitter cold as result of climate change.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The impacts of a changing climate have been prevalent in New York and beyond with increased frequency of extreme weather events that has led to damaging floods, dangerous heat, and hard hit critical infrastructure. New York’s Climate Impacts Assessment provides additional information to help New Yorkers adapt and respond to climate change by improving resilience and advancing efforts to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions and make needed investments and improvements to address the climate crisis.”
SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “The need to protect our planet is incredibly urgent, and Governor Hochul is leading New York State to a more sustainable future. SUNY is proud to be at the center of these efforts, from reducing our own carbon footprint to preparing the future green workforce and conducting groundbreaking research on climate change and renewable energy. My thanks to the Governor for convening this study, her commitment to building on her clean energy goals, and her ongoing investment in research and education to mitigate the consequences of climate change and foster resilience.”
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “New Yorkers felt the direct impact of climate change last summer when smoke from the Canadian wildfires blanketed the state, affecting quality and increased the risk of medical emergencies. With the continued support of Governor Hochul, it’s critical that we study the impact of climate change and the public health risks associated with these events. This collaborative, evidence-based study will further inform commonsense policies and recommendations that put the health and well-being of New Yorkers first.”
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “Effective climate resiliency depends on solid, reliable science. This document offers valuable tools and insights to support our myriad efforts to protect New York communities from the social, economic and environmental ravages of climate change. With the release of Understanding and Preparing for Our Changing Climate, New York continues to position itself as a worldwide leader in climate science, preparedness, resiliency and mitigation.”
State Senator Peter Harckham said, “The Climate Impacts Assessment is an important step in helping to ensure that New Yorkers have the information to understand the severity of climate change and the need for strengthening climate resilience. Improving climate resilience involves assessing how climate change will create new, or alter current, climate-related risks, and taking steps to better cope with these risks. Everyone should keep themselves informed on how climate change will affect daily life and how to prepare. I thank the Governor and her team for their important work.”
Assemblymember Deborah Glick said, “I am proud to live in a state that recognizes climate change and that Governor Hochul, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority are focused on developing forward thinking strategies to combat climate change. This invaluable information will provide direction to solutions to make New York a more sustainable and resilient society.”
New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, “We commend Governor Hochul's commitment to addressing the pressing issue of climate change through the release of the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment. This comprehensive analysis, grounded in the latest scientific research, will play a crucial role in equipping our communities with the knowledge needed to navigate the challenges posed by climate change. By providing actionable insights and strategies for adaptation and resilience, this assessment not only empowers residents, businesses, and decision-makers across the state but also underscores the importance of taking proactive measures to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We look forward to working with our members to leverage this resource to create a more resilient and sustainable future for all New Yorkers.”
Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Benjamin Houlton said, “New York residents are experiencing the impacts of climate change in real time—causing ripple effects across our state’s agri-food sector and in every facet of our daily lives. But, we have the ability to adapt to the changing needs of our world. We are grateful for Governor Hochul’s continued commitment to prepare our communities for these changes. As New York’s Land-Grant institution, Cornell CALS is proud to have the opportunity to bring our collective expertise forward to prepare New Yorkers for the impacts of climate change and support them in mitigation strategies to continue to thrive.”
Principal at +lab Architect and Professor at New York City College of Technology, Illya Azaroff said, “The New York State Climate Impact Assessment is an essential step forward and extraordinary resource for not just the state, but communities across the state, to build resilient capacity and understand that investment in the future creates equity and complete communities that can thrive through the projected disruptions that we will experience.”
The data and information provided in the study underscores the importance of taking action to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Solutions such as installing renewable energy, electrifying buildings and transportation systems, and increasing energy efficiency all help to reduce greenhouse gases and lessen the associated impacts on New York’s communities. A third component of the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment , providing an analysis of potential economic impacts in New York State, will be released later this year.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is advancing a suite of efforts – including the New York Cap-and-Invest program (NYCI) and other complementary policies – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. New York is also on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $40 billion in 64 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the State, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 170,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector as of 2022 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with more than 400 registered and more than 130 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.
Email: [email protected]