NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Hospitals Play Key Role in Fighting Climate Change

Yesterday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg laid out a $20 billion plan to protect the city against the effects of climate change, and he said New York City's hospitals will play a key role.


Superstorm Sandy decimated parts of New York City and other East Coast areas this past October, and many scientists attributed the magnitude of the storm the Earth's rising temperatures. Mayor Bloomberg has been vocal in combating climate change. In November, he actively endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election, citing his concern regarding changing global temperatures.


Because of Sandy, five acute-care hospitals in the city were forced to close temporarily due to electrical and mechanical system failures, flooding and other issues. According to the city's report, New York City hospitals absorbed an estimated $1 billion in costs from storm-related repairs and efforts. Furthermore, the report said 10 hospitals, representing 16 percent of the city's beds, fall in areas that are extremely susceptible to future floods and effects from climate change.


Consequently, the mayor and city officials recommended several initiatives to help New York City hospitals adapt to impacts associated with future climate change events, including:


•    Improve the design and construction of new hospitals and require new hospitals to meet more rigorous flood elevation standards.

•    Retrofit existing hospitals with better electrical equipment, emergency power systems and domestic water pumps by 2030.


"We have to make sure the facilities we depend on in emergencies are there for us when we need them most," Mayor Bloomberg said in his address. "So we'll amend the building code to require new facilities to meet high-level flood resistance and have access to backup capacity for power and other critical systems, not only in the case of flooding, but also heat waves."


More Articles on Hospitals and Sustainability:

4 Reasons Why Sustainability Investments Are Vital to Hospital Finance Strategies

Hospitals Leading a Sustainable Charge: Q&A With Gary Cohen, Founder of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative

Green Saves Green: How Baptist Health South Florida's Environmental Strategy is Paying Off


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