Local Government Efforts to Address Global Climate Change in New York State

Project Name 

Local Government Efforts to Address Global Climate Change in New York State

Department(s) or unit(s)

Dept. of Natural Resources

Contact information

Shorna Allred
Associate Professor, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
srb237@cornell.edu
607-255-2149

Allison Chatrchyan
Director, Institute for Climate Change in Agriculture
amc256@cornell.edu

Maureen Mullen
Extension Aide, Dept. of Natural Resources 

Program Description

Decisions over land-use are governed at the local level and questions regarding if, and how municipal officials are planing for climate change is the focus of  this research.  A statewide survey of municipal officials (N=1,416) was conducted to determine the opportunities and barriers facing local governments’ efforts to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. This research determined local government officials’ attitudes toward climate change and investigated local government officials’ views of risks, vulnerabilities, and issues associated with climate change and potential and realized impacts to the natural resources and infrastructure under their jurisdiction.

Additionally, we investigated adoption rates for actions local governments are taking to mitigate and adapt to climate change, what motivated that action, and why some are not taking action.  Our findings shows that while local government officials may not fully understand the science of global climate change, most local municipal officials believe that climate change is occurring.  They reported already experiencing an increase in unpredictable and extreme weather events in their communities—primarily manifested in flooding.  Actions taken were primarily focused on mitigation versus adaptation and only about one-third of officials reported taking any action.  A high percentage of officials say they need better information about the predicted local effects of climate change.

More information:



Category: Government, Land use, Research, Social Science, Water/flooding

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