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Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) in 2008 as part of the City’s long-term sustainability plan. The NPCC engages scientists who study climate change and its impact, as well as legal, insurance, and risk management experts. The results of the panel’s work offers examples for other communities to examine their own vulnerabilities and opportunities to enhance their capacities and resilience. Greater attention is also being given to strengthening and protecting green infrastructure.


Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) provides important tools to integrate natural resource, environmental, economic and social information to address systemic challenges faced by governments, (land and resource) managers, businesses and the public. NCA integrates this information into an accounts framework that is regularly updated to track transactions, identify trade-offs and reveal choices. It also helps to track and evaluate (programme and policy) implementation and will reveal many of the unintended consequences of addressing complex systemic challenges. NCA is being implemented at three levels: national, ecosystem and enterprise. At the national level, water, energy and pollution accounts can be used to understand and improve resource use efficiency, inform allocation of scarce resources (for example, water) and reduce pollution.


NCA ecosystem


accounts provide a framework that managers can use to identify and track all types of ecosystem services, including regulating, supporting and cultural services, where valuation is a challenge. NCA also provides a framework to identify beneficiaries. Private sector early adopters are using NCA approaches to improve resource use efficiency, manage risks and reduce pollution.


Sustainable Consumption and Production brings together wide-ranging options for reducing environmental pressures by addressing


drivers


processes and consumer demand. the potential to alleviate


associated with manufacturing These options have on the


systemic pressure


environment across the board, as demonstrated through successful innovations in areas such as water conservation, green building, reduction of packaging waste, and green procurement.


8


We find in the region evidence of heightened interest in approaches to adaptive governance that blend insights from disparate strands of innovation to create a repertoire of action that is enabling progress on the most difficult aspects of the sustainability challenge. This repertoire combines elements that have been on the policy agenda for some time, such as multi-stakeholder policy processes, with new ideas borrowed from resilience, inclusive governance, and system innovation. Progress at the sub-national and transnational levels on a variety of issues is ahead of bilateral federal collaboration.


North America is an energetic driver of the Data Revolution, with many proven examples of using environmental informatics and analytics to drive progress and many promising innovations under active development. These innovations combine commitments to regularly updated resource inventories and censuses with breakthroughs in sensor technology; open data practices; mobilization of diverse data communities; social science understanding of how information can drive effective responses; and quantum enhancements in networked information systems to contribute to a rapidly expanding set of responses to environmental challenges in the region.


The outlook for North America is a mixture of emerging possibilities and problems


Advances in science and technology and systemic transformations offer hope for a more sustainable future.


Technological change regarding data and analytics is moving as fast as, if not faster than, the problems that concern the region, bringing with it the promise to harness the power of the data revolution to manage these problems.


Many technical and policy innovations that have been incubating for decades are starting to bear fruit or have advanced to the point where major adoption is within reach, and these innovations offer the promise of systemic transformation that could help reverse negative trends.


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