NY Global Warming Forecast Calls for More Flooding & Heat-Related Illness

New York’s Climate is Warming

New Report Highlights Climate Change Dangers & Solutions

In late November, Environmental Advocates of New York released a groundbreaking report, Forecast for New York: Projected Global Warming Impacts & Next Steps. The report is part of our ongoing work to combat global warming.  For a complete copy of the report, visit www.eany.org. To receive a hard copy of the report please email info@eany.org with your name and address.Based on data collected from a variety of sources, the report examines the future repercussions of climate change and suggests ways to alter current trends. If we do not reduce our emissions significantly, scientists predict the future climate of New York will resemble that of the states of Georgia and South Carolina.Such changes are likely to affect both the environment and the socioeconomic well-being of New York. Specifically noted in Forecast for New York are impacts on public health (ozone-induced respiratory problems), infrastructure and coastal property (rising sea levels and devastating storms), agriculture (climate-dependent crops such as maple syrup), wildlife (habitat destruction), and water supply decreases.

New York has taken some steps to cut the production of global warming pollution. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) aims to stabilize and reduce power plant emissions through a cap-and-trade approach. New York is one of seven participating northeastern states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont.

RGGI will limit New York power plant emissions to 64.3 million tons from 2009-2015. In order to reach this limit, companies are allowed to buy and sell emissions credits. This creates market incentives that hold companies financially responsible for polluting while allowing them flexibility in their compliance.

New York has also implemented a Renewable Portfolio Standard. The goal of this program is to increase the volume of electricity produced by clean, renewable resources to 25 percent by 2013. And we have adopted California’s tailpipe emissions standards, the toughest motor vehicle-emission standards in the nation.

New York is ahead of the curve in the fight against global warming. However, Environmental Advocates thinks New York can and should do more.

Our recommendations to further cut emissions include, among others:

* setting big economy-wide targets for greenhouse gas emissions and tracking progress toward meeting those goals;

* expanding the RGGI framework to require reductions in global warming pollution from other major sources such as manufacturers and commercial buildings; and

* finding ways to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled in New York State.

We believe a broad-based set of activities at the state level, such as the initiatives already in place in New York and the activities we recommend, make successfully addressing the threat of global warming real and achievable.

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