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NY State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Education


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York

What New Yorkers Can Do

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  • This article examines governmental efforts in New York State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, what communities should consider when crafting a climate adaptation strategy, and how green buildings and infrastructure can aid climate adaptation endeavors.
  • Students will learn that New York's Climate Act is significant legislation aimed at decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, the definition of maladaptation and how to use systems thinking to avoid it, and the impact of green buildings on enhancing air quality and reducing energy costs in urban areas.
Teaching Tips


  • This article has many resources to extend learning, focusing on renewable energy and climate resilience.
  • The focus on actions and solutions can comfort students with climate anxiety.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand global warming, sources of GHG emissions, and the impacts of climate change.
  • It may help if students understand more involved climate change topics, such as carbon sinks and sea level rise.
  • It may benefit students to understand renewable energy.


  • Teachers can extend various topics the article touches on, such as green building, maladaptation, and environmental inequality.
  • After reading the article, students can explore more New York-based climate actions by exploring the NY State Climate Justice Working Group resource.
  • Language arts students can use this article for an informative essay on effective climate change adaptation/resilience strategies.
  • Civics students can analyze and discuss climate legislation in New York state.
  • This article can enhance a lesson on climate resilience, how it differs from mitigation and adaptation, and why it matters.
  • Students can access the article in 13 additional languages by scrolling to the bottom and selecting their preferred language. Be mindful that students still may need content-specific terms defined. 
Scientist Notes
This resource from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is a comprehensive look at the state’s strategy to address climate change. The article focuses on mitigation, adaptation, and building climate resilience and discusses climate justice thoughtfully. The resource is exceptionally well-sourced with linked data from DEC, and the linked U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit is an excellent resource to help students understand what resilience is and how communities can build it into systems. The resource also includes case studies from four villages and towns in New York, providing a view of the work communities do on the ground. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.14.a: Evaluate the impact of individual, business, and government decisions and actions on the environment and climate change and assess the efficacy of government policies and agencies in New Jersey and the United States in addressing these decisions.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.CI.11–12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of an informational text and analyze how they are developed and refined over the course of a text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex account or analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
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