State lawmakers did nothing to address climate change and sea level rise in the legislative session, but Florida local communities are making their own commitments to a carbon-free future.
The city commission of the relatively small town of South Miami (population: 12,000) unanimously passed a resolution this week committing to transitioning to a 100 percent clean, renewable community-wide energy plan by 2040. It’s the first city in South Florida – and the eighth in the Sunshine State – to commit to exclusively renewable sources of energy in the upcoming decades.
South Miami is now the 122nd city in the U.S. to commit to transitioning away from fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), which cause the “greenhouse effect” that’s warming the planet. Local governments in Dunedin, Gainesville, Largo, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Tallahassee have all committed to clean energy goals.
“South Miami’s new commitment to a 100 percent clean and renewable energy supply community-wide is the natural extension of our history of commitment to the planet, our children, and the natural world,” said South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard. “Now we have to roll up our sleeves, fill out our budget, and move this commitment from paper to reality. We invited our neighboring municipalities to join us in transforming our economy and infrastructure to a more sustainable way of life.”
While the state Legislature again punted on passing any meaningful climate change legislation, Governor Ron DeSantis has given climate activists some hope with his announcement that he will soon be hiring a “chief resiliency officer.”
According to a job description listed on LinkedIn, the position “will prepare Florida for the environmental, physical and economic impacts of climate change, especially sea level rise.”
Candidates have until May 20 to apply.