State legislators Sen. Lori Berman (D-BoyntonBeach) and Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D-Orlando) have announced proposed legislation (House Bill 283 / Senate Bill 720) to address the cause of climate change: carbon emissions. The two lawmakers filed their 100% Renewable Energy Goals Bill to transition Florida to 100% renewable energy by 2040 and carbon neutrality by 2050. House Bill 283 / Senate Bill 720 also bans fracking in Florida and establishes a workforce board to ensure that Florida’s drive towards a clean energy economy produces new high paying jobs – a much-needed initiative following the damaging impact of COVID-19 on the state’s unemployment rate.
With federal carbon reduction measures coming out of the White House and local cities like Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Tallahassee committing to renewable energy, it’s time that the state step up. Setting renewable energy goals isn’t just a trend – it’s a movement. Over one hundred cities across the U.S. have pledged to transition their power sources to 100% renewable energy and nearly 200 major companies have pledged to power their entire operations with renewable energy sources.
“As the Sunshine State, Florida should be a nationwide leader in the push for 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” added Senator Lori Berman, the bill’s Senate Sponsor. “Inaction by the legislature fails Floridians, hurts our health, our economy, and our precious ecosystems. As ground zero when it comes to sea level rise we also need to take responsibility for tackling not just the effects but our contribution to the causes of climate change.”
“Floridians are already feeling the effects of a warmer world and are in desperate need of new high paying jobs,” said Representative Eskamani. “Our state has a lot to lose if climate change goes unchecked and a lot to gain in championing renewable energy and energy efficiency. Clean air, clean water, and new high-paying jobs are in Florida’s future if we pass this bill.”
This bill highlights the needed intersectionality of pro-environment policymaking. While reducing carbon, we can also increase jobs; while protecting our planet, we can also protect people. FCV applauds Sen. Berman and Rep. Eskamani on this innovative, forward-looking legislation and we will be working to support it throughout the 2021 Legislative Session.
Want to help advocate for clean energy and climate solutions? Ask your legislator to co-sponsor these important bills. The more support we have, the more strength this good legislation will have as it moves through the tumultuous legislative process. Thank you for your advocacy, Conservation Voters!
Learn more about FCV’s Climate and Clean Energy program, and stay tuned for related volunteer opportunities!
Read more: Press Release, Rep. Anna V. Eskamani