Climate Week NYC, which brings together business, government, and climate community leaders, takes place each year in September. The devastating effects of climate change are being felt more commonly and more intensely by people all around the globe. Here in New York City, NYPL branches provided relief from the blazing heat which blanketed the city for a record number of days this past summer.
All levels of government are taking steps to curb the effects of climate change. In New York City, the Local Law 97 (LL97) Implementation Action Plan sets the Library’s emissions reduction targets at 49% by 2025, 86% by 2030, and 100% (full decarbonization) by 2050. The Library has made tremendous progress towards these interim goals, achieving a 45% reduction this year by incorporating improvements at branches throughout the system, which includes projects upgrading building management systems, installing LED lighting, replacing equipment with those that use renewable alternatives, and talking with our communities about how to improve climate efficiencies.
The two focal points of this effort are decarbonization and resiliency. Decarbonization is the reduction of harmful carbon emissions, also known as greenhouse gas emissions from the Library’s facilities throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Resiliency is the integration of scientific climate projections, like those laid out in the Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines, to design facilities in a way that will withstand the impending changes.
The effects of climate change are not felt equally by all New Yorkers; factors such as heat exposure, lack of vegetation, and socio-economic inequalities lead to communities being affected disproportionately Because of this, environmental justice is at the heart of all of NYPL’s decision-making processes, ensuring meaningful involvement and equitable protection for every New Yorker.
While tackling the climate crisis can seem overwhelming, the best thing you can do is educate yourself on the ways we can individually and collectively take action. Learning about what the businesses you support, your local government, and those around you are doing is a great place to start, and of course, the Library is here to help.
Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.