Miami (July 12, 2007)- Florida Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican, welcomed over 600 participants and 200 members of the media to the Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, held in Miami on July 12-13. Keynote speakers for the summit included California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Theodore Roosevelt IV, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
“Global climate change is one of the most important issues we face this century, and we must take action,” Governor Crist said. “We must make every effort to boldly do our best to do what is right- for our environment, for our economy, and for future generations. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of Florida’s natural resources and beautiful surroundings…. Florida is uniquely vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Bordered by bodies of water, our state has thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and waterways. Our waters define our state’s identity, and global climate change can threaten that identity.”
Governor Crist concluded the summit by signing three executive orders directing cuts in Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions and increases in energy efficiency. Under the new policy, Florida will pursue renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, as well as alternative energy such as ethanol and hydrogen. The governor also signed partnership agreements with Germany and the United Kingdom to discuss and promote initiatives that broaden the Kyoto Protocol and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases beyond 2012 when the protocol expires.
First, state agencies will measure greenhouse gas emissions and develop a Governmental Carbon Scorecard. Then, the state government will work to reduce emissions 10 percent by 2012, 25 percent by 2017, and 40 percent by 2025. To achieve that goal, new state buildings will be energy efficient and include solar panels whenever possible.
Office space leased in the future must be in energy efficient buildings. Florida will require consumer appliances to increase energy efficiency by 15 percent over current standards.
Any purchased state vehicles must be fuel efficient and use ethanol and biodiesel fuels when available. State government will also seek an energy efficient rental car company for the 2009 contract. Florida will adopt the California motor vehicle emission standards, pending approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, waiver. The standard is a 22 percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2012 and a 30 percent reduction by 2016.
For electric utilities, Governor Crist directed the adoption of maximum emission levels of greenhouse gases. The standard will require a reduction of emissions to 2000 levels by 2017, to 1990 levels by 2025, and by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. The governor also requested that the Public Service Commission adopt a 20 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2020, with a strong focus on solar and wind energy.
Governor Crist also called for Florida to become a leader in renewable and alternative energies such as ethanol and biofuels, solar, and wind energy.
Serve to Preserve
Environmental News Service