New York Panel on Climate Change

In response to climatic change and associated impacts to the city’s infrastructure, and in order to support goals outlined in PlaNYC, the City’s comprehensive sustainability plan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) in August 2008. The NPCC, which consists of leading climate change and impact scientists, academics, and private sector practitioners, was charged with advising the Mayor and the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force on issues related to climate change and adaptation as it relates to infrastructure. It produced a set of climate projections specific to New York City and the report ‘Climate Risk Information,’ released in 2009.

Following Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg convened the second New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC2) in January 2013 to provide up-to-date scientific information and analyses on climate risks for to create “A Stronger, More Resilient New York” plan.

In response to the Mayor’s charge to the Panel, the report ‘Climate Risk Information 2013 – Observations, Climate Change Projections, and Maps’ provides new climate change projections and future coastal flood risk maps for New York City. This climate risk information is designed to inform community rebuilding plans, and help to increase current and future resiliency of communities, and citywide systems and infrastructure to a range of climate risks.

The NPCC is required to meet at least twice each calendar year to review recent scientific data on climate change and its potential impacts, and to make recommendations on climate projections for the coming decades to the end of the century. These projections are due within one year of the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports, or at least every three years.

In 2014, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR) was created for NYC – the first-ever city office focused on climate resiliency. This office is leading the city’s short- and long-term efforts to strengthen coastal defenses, upgrade buildings, protect infrastructure and critical services, and make homes, businesses, and neighborhoods safer and more vibrant.

The NPCC advises ORR on the development of a community- or borough-level communications strategy intended to ensure that the public is informed about the findings of the panel, including the creation of a summary of the climate change projections for dissemination to city residents.