Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
    Leon County Declares “Climate Emergency” to Combat Climate Change

    In a significant move to address the urgent issue of climate change, Leon County in Tallahassee, Florida, has declared a “climate emergency.” The declaration received overwhelming support from the county commissioners, with a 6 to 1 vote in favor. The resolution was proposed in collaboration with GenCLEO, a branch of the CLEO Institute that advocates for climate action and policy.

    The resolution aims to hold officials accountable for their efforts in sustainability and calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving water quality, promoting native plants, and supporting the local food movement. This declaration also highlights the importance of involving the youth in these sustainability efforts, as they will be most affected by the consequences of climate change.

    Commissioner David O’Keefe expressed his excitement about including youth input in sustainability summits and community stakeholder groups, emphasizing the valuable perspective they bring. However, Commissioner Brian Welch was the only commissioner who voted against the resolution, stating that local leaders should focus on issues with a more immediate impact, such as crime and homelessness.

    Despite the disagreement, the county has worked closely with young environmentalists, aligning their aspirations with the county’s sustainability program. The resolution was seen as a positive step forward, even though the proposal to establish a youth advisory committee was denied. Instead, the county invited GenCLEO to participate in the existing “Insights and Input” forum, which holds monthly meetings to discuss sustainability efforts.

    Nia Ogletree, the lead campus organizer for GenCLEO, acknowledged the commissioners’ support as a significant achievement. Ogletree expressed pride in the youth advocates for their dedication and emphasized the importance of valuing and including youth voices.

    This declaration follows the City of Tallahassee’s commitment to combat climate change. The city commissioners unanimously passed a clean energy plan aiming to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050 or earlier. The plan includes investments in solar energy, electric-powered public transportation, and energy-efficient buildings.

    Leon County’s declaration of a “climate emergency” and the City of Tallahassee’s clean energy plan demonstrate a united effort to address climate change at the local level. By taking these proactive steps, both the county and the city are prioritizing the well-being of their communities and the planet.

    – Climate emergency: A declaration that acknowledges the urgent need to combat climate change and identifies it as an ongoing crisis.
    – Greenhouse gases: Gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

    – Tallahassee Democrat: Leon County, Florida declares ‘climate emergency’
    – Tallahassee Democrat: Rising to the Challenge: Uniting for climate action and empowering youth voices in Leon County