In addition to reducing GHG emissions, the Port Authority is developing strategies to reduce the risks, such as increased flooding and storm surges, more frequent storms and heat waves, and sea level rise, posed by climate change to Port Authority facilities and regional transportation infrastructure.
A recent PowerPoint presented at the New York Academy of Sciences illustrates many of the Port Authority's adaption strategies. We are pursuing direct facility strengthening, such as raising the Bayonne Bridge, creating redundancy for energy supplies and communication networks, investing in renewable energy to decrease our reliance on the grid, and protecting coastal habitats to provide natural buffers.
Because the Port Authority and our tenants and customers rely on the regional transportation system, we cannot act alone to reduce climate change's risks.
As a member of the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, we are using scientific projections of climate change impacts (e.g., sea-level rise, storm surge) to identify and prioritize risks to facilities and operations and to develop strategies to adapt to or mitigate those impacts. A recent article published in Civil Engineering "Anticipating Climate Change" presents a summary of the Port Authority's participation on the Task Force and lessons learned for Port facilities.
The agency also supported ClimAID, a study funded by New York State that assesses the potential impacts of climate change statewide, and identifies ways to mitigate them.
The Port Authority also provided extensive input to the New York State Climate Change Action Council and the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force. Both groups have released recent studies examining ways New York State can both respond to and reduce the risks associated with climate change.