Ida Flooding Deaths pushes Council to demand New York climate change plan

A bipartisan group of Council members who pushed the measure for two years have long expressed frustration that the administrations of Mr de Blasio and his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, have not acted faster to protect the New- Yorkers who live in less wealthy, working-class neighborhoods.

City officials and lawmakers have taken a number of steps to make post-Sandy plans a reality, such as divesting pension funds from fossil fuel companies, steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the city. city ​​and efforts to consolidate parts of Lower Manhattan. Storm surge, Staten Island and Queens.

But in 2019, the city had spent just 54% of the $ 15 billion allocated by the federal government after the Sandy strike in 2012 to protect itself from climate-related dangers, and day-to-day climate policies were still in the hands of an alphabet. soup of municipal, state and federal agencies.

That year, Costa Constantinides, Mr Brannan’s predecessor as the head of the council’s resilience committee, and other city lawmakers presented the first draft of the bill.

He did not immediately gain the backing of the mayor or council leaders, but Ida and the deaths of 15 New York City residents, most of whom died in the basement flooding, changed the calculation, according to supporters of the measure. Since Ida, Mr de Blasio has released an updated climate resilience plan that commits $ 2.7 billion in new funding and underlines the urgency to address issues like basement flooding. But at the end of his term, most of the work will fall to his successor.

Eric Adams, the Democratic candidate and possibly the next mayor, has also released a new climate plan – far more detailed than anything he presented during the primary campaign – after the Ida floods.

The Council measure has been broadened from previous versions to cover a wider range of climate effects: not only waterfront flooding, but extreme precipitation, heat, wind and even forest fires. It obliges the mayor to deliver the first plan by September 30, 2022.

“People are finally starting to understand the scope of what climate change means for this particular city,” Bautista said.

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