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Climate Change

The new World Trade Center complex. View from the river.
The soaring One World Trade Center
tower dominates the new World Trade
complex. The center is aiming for
certification as super-efficient.
Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel via
Wikimedia Commons

Climate Change Goals for NYS

To help minimize risks from climate change, New York State has set two goals:

  • Reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 80 percent from 1990 levels, by the year 2050 ("80 by 50"), and
  • Improve resilience to climate change in all the state's communities.
    Working toward these goals is creating a dynamic clean energy economy in the state. The 2014 Draft New York State Energy Plan, now released for public input, charts a path toward this economy. To participate, follow the Energy Plan link at right.

A changing climate costs all New Yorkers

As the earth gets warmer, undesirable climate change impacts are likely to outweigh possible benefits, both in economic cost and in damage to our way of life. Signals of climate change already are visible in New York:

  • Sea levels are rising and risks from coastal floods and storm surges are worsening.
  • Summers have more super-hot days.
  • Diseases typical of warmer climates are appearing.
  • Intense precipitation events are more common, and so are long dry spells.
  • Winter snow cover is decreasing and spring arrives earlier.
  • Even in winter, average nighttime temperatures are warming faster than daytimes.

Deciding to combat climate change

Choices we make now can reduce our risks while building economic growth and diversification.

  • Emission reduction choices include energy-efficient products, building weatherization and renewable energy generation lower New York's greenhouse gas emissions while creating thousands of new jobs.
  • Climate resilience choices mean adapting built and natural environments to new conditions, generating economic activity that helps to balance climate-related costs.

State programs are helping New Yorkers identify the right climate decisions by initiating plans and projects that will keep our environment and economy thriving in a time of climate change. Local communities are working to keep their citizens safe and comfortable. Already over 140 cities, villages, towns and counties have joined Climate Smart Communities , a state-local partnership to meet climate challenges in ways that are consistent with community goals.

You can help reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gases and make your community more resilient.

  • Inform yourself about how climate change is affecting the world and your community, and what actions can improve our climate future.
  • Conserve energy and increase energy efficiency in your home, workplace or school.
  • Support programs and policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate resilience.

More about Climate Change: