Climate to guide New York reconstruction

Dec. 7, 2012 at 6:35 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he planned to have the city lead the nation in climate initiatives following Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy, a late October hurricane, merged with an east-bound system to wreak havoc on the U.S. East Coast. Parts of the region were without power for days and Bloomberg imposed a gas-rationing system after major damage to regional energy infrastructure.

Bloomberg said he would look to rebuild New York "sustainably" by revising building codes and pushing natural buffer zones to protect against major storm surge.

"We cannot solve the problems associated with climate change on our own here in New York City but I think it's fair to say we can lead the way," he said.

On climate action already on the books, Bloomberg said the city was more than halfway to its goal of reducing its carbon footprint 30 percent by 2030.

"Cities are not waiting for national governments to act on climate change," he said. "Whether or not one storm is related to climate change or is not, we have to manage for risks, and we have to be able to better defend ourselves against extreme weather and natural disasters."

Sandy developed into a Category 1 hurricane over Atlantic waters said to be unseasonably warm.

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