Sixteen Florida climate justice organizations have called on House Speaker Paul Reiner and Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo to form a joint commission on the climate crisis.
Aliki Moncrief, executive director of Florida Conservation Voters, delivered the petition to the Tallahassee offices of both legislative leaders.
“Florida’s incoming legislative leadership has an urgent responsibility to protect the people of our state from the harmful effects of climate change and address its causes. The need to act becomes more urgent every day. As we speak, Floridians are facing terrible damage from hurricanes, unsafe water, skyrocketing homeowner’s insurance rates, frequent flooding, and a wide range of other weather-related problems. Our families and our communities, especially low-income families and Black, Latino, Indigenous and communities of color, can no longer wait for action,” Moncrief said.
In addition to FCV, manifestos for the following organizations: Action for the Climate, Emergency (ACE), Earth Ethics, Inc., EarthJustice, Florida Rising, Healthy Gulf, Healthy Planet, Healthy People, League of United Latin American Citizens, Mi Familia Vota , Miami Climate Alliance, Mom’s Clean Air Force Florida Chapter, Rachel Carson Council, Rethink Energy Florida, The Cleo Institute, TI Eity Preparedness & Relief Institution and 350 Pensacola
“It is not enough to respond piecemeal to the elements of the climate crisis. We should mention the problems by name and work actively and holistically to overcome them. The time has come to form a Joint Commission on Climate Change. Floridians cannot go into another legislative session without a comprehensive plan to address this crisis and prevent further damage to our future as a state,” said FCV Executive Director.
This is the third time the FCV has asked the legislative leadership to create a joint commission on climate change. However, on occasion, the FCV has joined forces with other climate justice groups.
In the letter, the organizations call on legislative leaders to create a Joint Committee on the Climate Crisis for the 2023-2024 legislative session.
To support their request, they cite arguments from scientists and academics who put Florida in the United States as an example of one of the most vulnerable places on the planet to the effects of climate change.
According to the petition, Florida experiences frequent droughts and increasingly intense floods; experiencing decreased water quality due to salt water intrusion and septic system failures; Experiences 3 to 4 devastating storms every year; and heat waves that can affect the health of older people and outdoor workers.
They also mention the impact of climate change on the irreversible bleaching of our coral reefs; increased risk of vector-borne diseases; a sharp drop in coastal property values; and poor air quality, among other consequences linked to climate change.