Urban Northeast RISA team helps prepare one of world’s largest energy delivery systems for climate change impacts

A new report, supported by the Consortium on Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), a CPO RISA team, describes projected climate change impacts to Con Edison’s service area in NYC and Westchester County through the 21st century. Developed by Con Edison in collaboration with ICF and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, including CCRUN PI Radley Horton, the study evaluated present-day infrastructure, design specifications, and procedures against expected climate change to better understand its future impact on Con Edison’s energy delivery systems. The analysis found Con Edison’s most significant climate-driven risks to be sea level rise, coastal storm surge, inland flooding from intense rainfall, hurricane-strength winds, and extreme heat. Through continued work with Con Edison, the CCRUN climate science team advanced new methods for the projections of the set of hazards that the company is concerned with for their future preparedness and planning. Con Edison plans to develop a detailed Climate Change Implementation Plan by the end of 2020 to operationalize the report’s recommendations and strengthen the company’s reliability and resilience against climate risks.

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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.