Mayor Eric Adams has appointed a former adviser to Mayor Michael Bloomberg to lead New York City’s climate change initiatives as well as the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — a newly created dual role that will streamline two government offices that have gained increased significance in recent years.

Rohit Aggarwala, who led sustainability efforts under Bloomberg and helped author the PlaNYC blueprint, will become the city’s new chief climate officer and commissioner of the DEP.

The mayor, who announced the news on Monday at City Hall, described the new role as the creation of a new leadership team on climate change.

“It is evident to anyone who opens their eyes that we are in the midst of a climate crisis in this city, and around the world, so it’s time to think outside the box and determine how we can handle the crisis before it's too late,” Adams said, in a prepared statement. “This past year alone,” he added, “we’ve experienced extreme weather anomalies and rising sea levels, which have endangered New Yorkers’ lives, their homes, and their livelihoods.”

The current DEP commissioner, Vincent Sapienza, will serve as the chief operations officer of the DEP. Kizzy Charles-Guzman, who worked on environmental issues under both Bloomberg and Mayor Bill de Blasio, will become the director of the newly created Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice.

The latter will consolidate four other offices dedicated to climate change and other environmental issues.

The DEP is charged with overseeing the city’s water infrastructure, but in recent years, storms like the remnant of Hurricane Ida have sharpened the focus on the city's lagging efforts on resiliency.

For environmental advocates, it represents the possibility that climate change will become a long overdue focal point of city government.

“Making progress on climate requires not only good policies, but also driving resilience, decarbonization, and environmental justice into daily city operations,” Aggarwala said, in a statement.

Aggarwala will report to Meera Joshi, the deputy mayor for operations.

Among the priorities Adams laid out on Monday was building 100 megawatts of solar energy on top of schools, libraries, community centers and other municipal buildings. He also called for the city to issue the first comprehensive study of environmental justice.