While the extensive range of topics covered at this event remains available on YouTube, we present here highlights from some of the most attended panels
By Carlos Roa
After the end of the Florida Climate Week™, there are many discussions and conclusions that continue over time, fulfilling the objective of this gathering, which is to broaden the conversation about solutions to the challenges our state faces in the context of the global climate situation.
This year, the annual free event took place from October 2nd to 8th, maintaining its usual virtual format with 35 panels, and for the first time, incorporating ten in-person events in several cities in Florida.
Choosing which of all the debates to expand upon would be a challenging task, due to space limitations. Therefore, we are sharing the conclusions from the three virtual meetings that attracted the most attendees.
Conservatives and Climate Change
Nathan Crabbe, editor of The Invading Sea website, moderated an online panel discussion on “Talking with conservatives about climate change.” He debunked the belief that all of them think climate change is not an issue, quoting a Florida Atlantic University polling that shows a growing bipartisan agreement in the state on addressing this challenging situation.
Also, this panel called on the way we communicate about climate news, so we can be more effective in engaging more people to take action.
Crabbe shared the conversation with Colin Polsky, founding director of FAU’s School of Environmental, Coastal, and Ocean Sustainability (ECOS), Bob Inglis, executive director of republicEn.org and former U.S. congressman; Mary Anna Mancuso, South Florida political strategist and spokesperson for republicEn.org; and Yanni Psareas, Florida state director of Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends.
Florida, the Land of Opportunities
The Nature Conservancy presented a panel titled “From Opportunity to Action: TNC’s Climate Initiatives in Florida”. Since The Sunshine State is ground zero for climate change in the United States, it has simultaneously become a hub of creativity for climate policy.
According to them, there are abundant opportunities to support meaningful climate action in Florida.
Climate Strategy Director, Morgan Higman, and Amanda Thompson, CCI Training & Education Coordinator at TNC, discussed how they are working to reduce emissions, promote environmental justice, and foster economic development through climate action by way of local and industry partnerships, federal funding opportunities, and youth education and outreach.
Florida is at a key crossroads for improving energy affordability. As heat increases and natural gas price volatility drives rate hikes the Sunshine State remains one of the few states without energy efficiency requirements.
This is why Environmental Defense Fund organized the panel “Mind the Gap: Exploring Florida’s Potential to Lower Cost and Reduce Carbon Emissions with Energy Efficiency”.
They stated that, unless preventative measures are taken, predicted extreme heat increases will hit households already struggling to afford their energy bills the hardest.
All the sessions will remain available for a limited time on VoLo Foundation’s YouTube account.