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New York City, Partners Prep Center for Climate Solutions

April 25, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

New York City is partnering with multiple businesses, universities and philanthropical organizations to launch the Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island, according to Mayor Eric Adams.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams

The $700 million center -- known as the New York Climate Exchange -- is expected to generate 7,000+ per­ma­nent jobs and a $1 billion in fis­cal impact for New York City, though the timeframe for those outcome estimates was not disclosed.

IBM, RIT, Stony Brook University Vow Support

Multiple organizations -- including IBM, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Stony Brook University -- vowed to support the center. Moreover, the Simons Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies vowed to provide $100 million and $50 million, respectively, for the project.

According to IBM, the center will:

  1. Develop a 400,000 square feet green-designed laboratory;
  2. set up a Research and Technology Accelerator; and
  3. promote community development and partnerships including 6,000 green job trainees annually, grant opportunities, academic programs, and the establishment of a Citizens’ Advisory Council.

IBM is headquartered in Armonk, New York -- about an hour or so North of New York City. Key leaders from IBM involved in the New York Climate Exchange include Justina Nixon-Saintil, VP & chief impact officer and Solomon Assefa, VP of IBM Research for climate & impact science.

New York Climate Exchange: Potential Benefits

The New York Climate Exchange, according to organizers, has four goals:

  1. Accel­er­at­e the devel­op­ment of equi­table solu­tions for cities through research and commercialization;
  2. expand edu­ca­tion, job-train­ing, and skills-build­ing that ready New York­ers for green jobs; 
  3. provide space for New York­ers to learn about cli­mate change and engage in hope­ful solu­tions to take back to their com­mu­ni­ties through free exhibits, art, activ­i­ties, and conversations; and
  4. con­ven­ing glob­al lead­ers at the cen­ter of the world, on NYC’s most icon­ic har­bor location

In a prepared statement, RIT President David Munson said: “This is a great day for New York City and The Trust for Governors Island. This collaborative effort will engage RIT students and educators who will work alongside essential partners to focus on climate solutions that impact New York, our nation, and the world. RIT is proud to be part of The New York Climate Exchange that will use its formidable resources, technology, and research expertise to drive solutions to benefit our economy, environment, and society.” 

Added Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis: “We are honored, excited, and proud to partner with the City of New York to build this historic center that will cement New York City as the world leader on climate change, the most pressing issue of our time. Up until now, the development of climate solutions has been siloed, with world leaders separate from expert scientists separate from the on-the-ground green workforce. As an international leader on climate and as the leading public research institution in New York, Stony Brook University will bring stakeholders together from the academic, government and business communities to make the Climate Exchange the center of research, innovation, education and collaboration to address this global crisis.”

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