Could world climate conference happen in Tampa Bay next year?

Democratic U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor from Tampa and Charlie Crist from St. Petersburg – who represent one of the most vulnerable areas on earth when it comes to climate change – are calling on the United Nations to consider the Tampa Bay area as a potential host for the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 25) meeting next November. The annual conference is held to negotiate the best approaches to carry out the Paris Agreement, the 2015 landmark international pact between nations about the causes and effects of global warming.

The 2019 global conference was scheduled to take place in Brazil, but the Brazilian government announced last month that it was backing out of its commitment to host the event, leading United Nations organizers to scramble for a new sight.

In a letter addressed to Patricia Espinosa, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, Castor and Crist write that the Tampa Bay community is a “leading force” in the effort to combat climate change, referring to the fact that 26 local governments have signed on this year to the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, an initiative designed to address sea level rise and other effects of climate change.

“The Tampa Bay community is not only ready, willing and able to host the COP 25, but it is representative of the local communities around the world that are both most affected by the impacts of a warming planet and leading efforts to adapt to and mitigate global climate change,” the two members of Congress write.

The U.S. government signed onto the Paris Agreement in 2015, but President Donald Trump announced a year ago that America will withdraw from the pact. However, under the terms of the Agreement, the earliest possible withdrawal date can’t happen before November 2020.

The 2018 United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 24) concluded this past Sunday in Katowice, Poland.







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