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New York City is a city on the waterfront. With 520 miles of coastline, New York City’s coastline is longer than the coastlines of Miami, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. Nearly nine million New Yorkers live in areas vulnerable to flooding, storm surges and other natural disaster-related risks that are increasing as a result of climate change.

New York City didn’t wait for a devastating storm to begin comprehensively addressing the effects of climate change. The City’s extensive climate change mitigation and resiliency efforts and communications strategy have put the City in a league of its own. But, notwithstanding New York City’s proactive commitment to climate change mitigation, on October 29, 2012, Super Storm Sandy’s massive blow to the Big Apple—including the deaths of 43 New Yorkers—highlighted the need to weigh climate change and disaster resiliency more heavily on the policy scales as the City balances between conflicting policies.

This article is published in two parts. This first part looks at the current climate-change related predictions for New York City and summarizes the numerous climate-change mitigation and adaptation initiatives the City is taking.

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25 Envtl. L. in N.Y. 81