[St. Petersburg, FL] – Florida is poised to play a major role in U.S. progress to address climate change, a new report said today. In the next decade, the state will cut the seventh most global warming pollution of any state in the country.
The Environment Florida Research & Policy Center report comes as pressure mounts on the U.S. to play a leading role in negotiations for an international climate agreement in Paris.
“The best way to lead is by example,” said Anna Aurilio, Director with Environment Florida. “With Florida’s help, that’s just what we are poised to do.”
“Though important strides have been made, a sharp reduction in carbon dioxide pollution remains a priority. And while local governments can effect change, a crisis like climate change calls for leadership from President Obama and his global counterparts,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg
The analysis, Path to the Paris Climate Conference: American Progress in Cutting Carbon Pollution Could Pave the Way for Global Action, documents expected carbon pollution reductions from existing state-level and federal policies by 2025, including fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, regional and state-based carbon caps, and renewable energy standards.
The report shows that state and federal policies underway across the country can reduce carbon pollution 27 percent below 2005 levels.
The biggest slice of these reductions will come from the Clean Power Plan, the proposed federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants expected to be finalized this summer. The plan requires an 38 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in Florida, and compels state leaders to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources such as wind and solar.
However, fossil fuel interests and their allies in Congress are trying to block the Clean Power Plan. Governor Rick Scott has even banned Florida government officials from
using the words “climate change,” “global warming,” and “sustainability,” according to an investigation from the Miami Herald.
“With the U.S. and Florida poised to play a leading role in cutting carbon pollution,” said Aurilio, “Governor Scott and Senator Marco Rubio need to stay out of the way as Florida makes progress with climate action.”
To avoid devastating impacts of climate change, scientists estimate that an 80 percent cut in global warming pollution will be necessary by mid-century. As the report notes, a more rapid transition to clean energy sources, beyond those already required by existing policies, will be required to achieve these levels.
“Florida is poised to play a major role in American progress to cut global warming pollution,” said Aurilio. “We must build on that progress to ensure a better, healthier future for our climate and our children.”
The full report can be found at: