Climate change is the biggest threat to the future of Florida. Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature has failed to address our state’s greenhouse gas emissions in any kind of substantial way. Thankfully, there are climate leaders looking out for Florida families in the House.
On Wednesday, Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) successfully forced a vote on climate change in the Florida House. Her amendment to a related energy bill would have set goals for 100% carbon neutrality by 2050. In a shockingly short-sighted moment, the amendment was resoundingly shouted down. House leader Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) called Rep. Eskamani’s amendment “unfriendly,” effectively demanding her Party to reject it. And they did with a resounding NO voice vote.
Rep. Eskamani’s amendment couldn’t have come at a more critical time, with scientists recently declaring 2019 as the hottest year for planet earth on record. Reps. Javier Fernandez (D – Miami) and Margaret Good (D – Sarasota) also offered amendments to address Florida’s climate crisis, which were also explicitly rejected by House leadership and ultimately voted down.
Climate change is happening. The Legislature doesn’t have a moment to waste. Just last week, Governor Ron DeSantis’ Chief Science Officer Dr. Thomas Frazer urgently warned that reducing carbon emissions is crucial to addressing climate change. It’s past time for the Sunshine State to prioritize a just transition to clean, renewable, fossil-fuel-free energy for the people of Florida. We will be working tirelessly for the rest of session to prepare for the biggest challenge of our time: climate change.
Thank you to Reps. Eskamani, Fernandez, and Good for their climate leadership. Hopefully, there is another chance to #ActOnClimate before session ends on March 13.