Centuries of burning fossil fuels – such as oil, coal, and natural gas – have released carbon pollution into the atmosphere that is warming the climate, and the impacts of climate change already harm residents of Southeast through human health hazards, economic burdens, and reduced quality of life. Carbon pollution needs to be eliminated quickly or else the climate will continue to warm and cause greater impacts to the Southeast including flooding from sea level rise and heavier storms, long stretches of miserably hot days, and drought and hardships for farmers. Fortunately, we have the solutions already: solar and wind energy are now the least expensive forms of new electricity in the country and opportunity abounds in the Southeast for energy efficiency. Electric vehicles are now cost-competitive with conventional cars and are widely available. The solutions are at hand, but citizens need to keep elected officials and energy companies accountable.
A 100% CES + electrification could clean our air and water, protect public health, lower consumers' bills, bolster energy independence, and lift up the frontline communities most impacted by the climate crisis.
This week, the Knoxville Mayor’s Climate Council held its penultimate meeting to discuss an updated City Sustainability work plan, and Knoxville City Council passed the City budget with climate provisions.
Local climate action, exemplified by Broward County, will continue to be a critical piece to reducing carbon pollution in Florida and securing resilient communities.