New York’s City Council Adds Climate Change Panels

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By MIREYA NAVARRO, from New York Times Green Blog

The exodus of City Hall aides has already begun as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s term approaches its end next year, but climate change isn’t going anywhere. So in an attempt to continue Mr. Bloomberg’s environmental focus long after he’s gone, the City Council passed legislation on Wednesday that would make two panels advising the city on the threats of global warming a permanent fixture of government.

The bill,  approved 44-0, will “institutionalize and regularly convene” both a panel of scientists known as the New York City Panel on Climate Change and a task force of government agencies and partners from the energy, telecommunications and other private sectors in charge of recommending how the city should adapt to more frequent storms and heat waves. Under current projections by the scientific panel, sea levels around New York will rise nearly five feet by the end of the century, posing an increased risk of major and more frequent coastal flooding.

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