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Mayor de Blasio Announces Third NYC Panel on Climate Change - Ensuring Best Available Science Informs City's Policies

June 30, 2015

NPCC3 to expand focus to study climate adaptation and equity on neighborhood scale, enhanced mitigation and resiliency across the metropolitan region

NPCC will continue to shape City's comprehensive resiliency plan – building on OneNYC and integrating growth, resiliency, sustainability, and equity to further City's role as global leader on climate change

NEW YORK—Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the third New York City Panel on Climate Change, which will ensure that the best available climate science continues to inform the City's resiliency planning. NPCC3 will build on previous NPCC reports and look at climate risks through the lens of inequality at a neighborhood scale, as well as focus on ways to enhance coordination of mitigation and resiliency across the entire New York metropolitan region.

The New York City Panel on Climate Change is an independent body that advises the City on climate risks and resiliency. As the best available data, NPCC science informs the City's comprehensive climate policies, including its multilayered, city-wide resiliency plan and sweeping sustainability initiatives – in line with President Obama's recent Executive Order. The NPCC works in partnership with the City, including with the Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability.

In April 2015, Mayor de Blasio released One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, highlighting the crucial need to take increasing climate risks into account in all City capital investments and integrating growth, resiliency, sustainability, and equity to further the City's role as a global leader in the fight against climate change.

The third NPCC report will be released in 2016 and will build on previous NPCC reports, as well as evaluate new topics and focus areas that include:

  • Climate science: regional climate projections focusing on extreme events
  • Community-based assessment of adaptation and equity: focus on the neighborhood scale
  • Critical infrastructure systems: focus on interdependent transportation and energy systems; extend beyond city scale – expand to the region
  • Indicators and monitoring system: develop an expanded climate resiliency indicators and monitoring system
  • Enhanced mapping protocols: Enhanced risk, uncertainty, vulnerability and resiliency mapping with improved presentation of risk and uncertainty as well as interdependencies

The NPCC's second report – Building the Knowledge Base for Climate Resiliency: New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report – was released in February 2015 and can be read here:

"NPCC's critical work ensures that as we adapt our city to the risks of climate change, we're using the best available climate science" said Mayor de Blasio. "The panel's work to date has shaped so much of our sustainability and resiliency efforts, from our sweeping plan to reduce emissions 80 percent, to our comprehensive, multi-layered resiliency plan that is making neighborhoods around the five boroughs stronger and safer. Now, NPCC3 will build on that strong foundation, ensuring that – as we adapt to climate risks – we are doing so in a way that serves all New Yorkers and reflects the regional collaboration we need."

"The NPCC3 will focus on the latest climate science, the role of communities, critical infrastructure, advanced indicators and monitoring systems, and enhanced mapping, not just in the City, but the entire New York metropolitan region," said Cynthia Rosenzweig, Co-Chair of the NPCC and Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Center for Climate Systems Research.

"This NPCC effort is designed to break new ground in urban climate change science and knowledge to further help build the resilience of New York City," said William Solecki, Co-Chair of the NPCC and Professor of Geography at CUNY Hunter College.

"Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time," said Daniel Zarrilli, Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency. "By launching the Third New York City Panel on Climate Change, we are continuing to implement our OneNYC vision for a more resilient city. The expanded membership will focus on climate adaptation and equity in the city's neighborhoods. By basing the City's policy and initiatives on the best available climate science, we can be sure that our neighborhoods, economy, and public services are ready to withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change and other 21st century threats."

"The NPCC's distinguished panel of scientists over the years has given New York City the best data and analysis for the City to plan for a future with unmitigated climate change, particularly as we look at the 520 miles of coast along our city," said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. "We've pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions citywide 80% by 2050; the Panel's work underscores just how important our efforts are."

The members of NPCC3 include:


  • CYNTHIA ROSENZWEIG: Co-Chair, Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Center for Climate Systems Research.
  • WILLIAM SOLECKI: Co-Chair, Professor of Geography at Hunter College-CUNY.
  • REGINALD BLAKE: Director of the Center for Remote Sensing and Earth System Sciences of the CUNY CREST Institute, Associate Professor of Physics at the New York City College of Technology.
  • VIVIEN GORNITZ: Senior Research Scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
  • KLAUS JACOB: Special Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Adjunct Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
  • PATRICK KINNEY: Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Director, Columbia Climate and Health Program, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
  • HOWARD KUNREUTHER: James G. Dinan Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy, Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
  • YOCHANAN KUSHNIR:  Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Earth Institute, Columbia University.
  • ROBIN LEICHENKO:  Professor, Department of Geography at Rutgers University and Co-Director, Rutgers Climate Institute.   
  • NING LIN: Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University.
  • GUY NORDENSON: Structural Engineer and Professor of Architecture and Structural Engineering, Princeton University.
  • MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER: Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University.
  • GARY YOHE: Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University.

New Members

  • ALAN F. BLUMBERG: George Meade Bond Professor & Director of the Davidson Laboratory, Stevens Institute of Technology; Founder of the New York Harbor Observing and Prediction System (NYHOPS).
  • BRIAN A. COLLE: Professor and Director for the Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University.
  • SHEILA FOSTER: Albert Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law; Faculty Co-Director, Urban Law Center, Fordham University.
  • JORGE GONZALEZ CRUZ: NOAA-CREST Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of ESES Graduate Initiative of CUNY’s Alliance for Continuous Learning Environments in STEM.
  • DR. IRWIN REDLENER: Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Earth Institute, Columbia University; Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy and Management, Columbia University Medical Center; Special Advisor, Mayor's Office.
  • RAE ZIMMERMAN: Professor of Planning and Public Administration, NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

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