Heat Waves, Rain Storms, Flooding, Oh My! City Council Tackles Climate Change

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By Paul Bisceglio Notice how hot it was this summer? So did City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who pointed out in a statement that last month was the hottest ever on record. "If this isn't a call to take action," she said. "I don't know what is." City Council voted on Wednesday to expand the city's Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, a group created in 2008 in tandem with the city's Panel on Climate Change and the Climate Protection Act to evaluate New York's shifting climate and to develop strategies to endure it. The new bill will require the Climate Change panelists to project the change's impact by using up-to-date data every three years, and the Task Force must then respond to these projections by making plans and policies to help the city adapt. Already on the radar, based on the panel's previous projections: two-to-four-times-more-common heat waves, more frequent rain storms and three-times-more-commong severe coastal flooding. "We must act decisively now to address severe climate trends or we're going to face tougher decisions down the road," said Quinn. "This legislation will serve as a model to the world for how local governments should plan for climate change." "This legislation, when passed and enacted, will be the first bill from any state or local government in the country to create an institutional government mechanism to assess the latest climate change science, plan for climate change impacts and implement adaptive strategies," said Council Member James F. Gennaro in a statement. "Quite simply, New York City is doing what every local, state, and national government in the world should be doing with respect to climate change: working assiduously to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions while planning and implementing adaptive strategies for the impacts of climate change."

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