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What Is the Assessment?

What Is the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment?

Using the latest science, the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment will provide a comprehensive analysis of how climate change is affecting New York State and how those impacts are likely to change in the decades ahead.

The assessment will also look at strategies for adaptation and resilience, which will help us prepare for those impacts.


Why Is It Important?

This assessment will provide a credible, science-based analysis of what to expect from climate change in New York under various scenarios and will seek to communicate this information in ways that are actionable, relevant, and easy to understand.

The assessment will help residents, businesses, and decisionmakers across New York plan and prepare for climate change impacts. More broadly, it will clearly demonstrate the benefits of taking action to adapt to future climate conditions—in addition to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change—while such action is still meaningful and possible.


Who Will Use It?

The assessment will be developed by and for New York’s residents, businesses, public-sector leaders, academic experts, farmers, advocates, nonprofit organizations, and decisionmakers of all kinds so its information about New York’s future climate is widely accessible and usable.


How Does This Assessment Relate to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and the Climate Action Council?

On July 18, 2019, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law. New York State’s Climate Act is the among the most ambitious climate laws in the nation and requires aggressive reductions in New York’s greenhouse gas emissions economy wide. The law also created a Climate Action Council (CAC) charged with developing a scoping plan to meet these targets and place New York on a path toward carbon neutrality. By their nature, both the Climate Act and the CAC are focused largely—although not entirely—on greenhouse gas reduction.

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In contrast, this climate assessment is not developing or recommending policy, nor is it focused on how to reduce emissions. Rather, the focus is on the science of how the climate is changing (projections), how those changes will affect New York (impacts), and how we can prepare for some impacts that may be uncertain or unavoidable (adaptation and resilience). The goal of this assessment is to provide the science and information that will allow decisionmakers at all levels to make informed choices about their future: whether that’s a local municipality, state agency, or individual business or landowner. Although the assessment timeline does not align with the faster-moving CAC, the resulting information may form the scientific foundation for future recommendations or iterations of the Climate Act.