NYC Panel on Climate Change

“Cities and the communities who live in them are significantly impacted by climate shifts in both means and extremes. These are already affecting the New York metropolitan region and will increasingly do so in the coming decades.”

Mark Wilbert, City of Charleston chief resilience officer

“it’s about preserving property and preventing lives lost for a future that we know will bring more frequent storms, more intense storms, in an area that we know is very vulnerable to that.”

City Planners & Climate Change

City planners face unique challenges in conforming local infrastructure to rising sea waters, heat waves, and other climate impacts. Green infrastructure is quickly gaining traction as a solution. Charleston, South Carolina, experienced nearly 90 minor tidal flooding events last year. With more future flooding expected, the city is elevating its sea wall, dubbed the “Low Battery” by at least 3 feet. These solutions are a near-universal issue because about 70% of major U.S cities reside on the coastal part of the country.

Across the world, cities are also committed to reducing carbon emissions. For example, a network of 96 large cities, representing 25% of the global economy, have partnered to address climate change. 

Source: US AID

Fast Facts

billion gallons of water a year could be saved in Chicago if the water infrastructure was replaced

U.S mayors have adopted Paris Agreement goals for their cities


of U.S CO2 emissions come from the buildings and other infrastructure

Heard Around the Country

City’s Climate Action Plan Taking Shape

City’s Climate Action Plan Taking Shape

A plan to make city government operations more environmentally friendly is taking shape and may be done by the end of the year. Goshen City Council members Monday received an update on the status of the Climate Action Plan, which is being created by the new Goshen...

How are climate & weather different?

Climate means the long term behavior of weather. Weather is local and short-term; climate describes the average weather for a region at a given time of year based on historical patterns. Climate change means the average temperature and precipitation is not following those old patterns.

Where is there scientific agreement?

The world’s leading scientific organizations, including MIT and NASA, agree that human-caused climate change is happening and just a few more degrees of warming will increase the risk of intense storms, sea level rise and other extreme weather events.

How much warming has happened?

People have caused about 1.5ºF of unnatural warming by putting greenhouse gases into the air since 1889. While it may not sound like much, the extra warming has been linked to some natural disasters such as wildfires in the U.S. and drought in the Mediterranean.

In a Flash

  • About 40% of Americans currently live on or near the coast
  • An increasing number of American cities are planning on or have already started the process of adopting climate adaptation plans
  • Green infrastructure is becoming mainstream in city planning decisions

Sources and Citations

  1. C40 Cities.
  2. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. City Climate Policy.
  3. LA Times. Some California Cities Think They’re Safe from Climate Change. They’re Not, New Data  
  4. GreenBiz. Why U.S. City is Doing the Most to Save Water?


  1. Photos: U.S. Department of Energy (top) & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (middle).
  2. US Agency for International Development (USAID). Heat in Cities.
  3. AFP News Agency. New York’s $20bn plan to survive rising seas.