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Project Summary

During a climate change summit in July 2007, Governor Crist signed Executive Order 07-128, establishing the Action Team on Energy and Climate Change (Action Team). The Action Team was tasked to develop a comprehensive state energy and climate change action plan to reduce Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions, develop energy policies, and create mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Phase 1 report, completed in November 2007, provided recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Florida. The Phase 2 report was completed on October 15, 2008, which resulted in the final Florida Action Plan on Energy and Climate Change (Action Plan).

Project Background

Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed three critical Executive orders during the first climate change summit in Florida in 2007 to establish greenhouse gas reduction targets, reduce emissions in state government facilities and vehicles, and establish an Action Team on Energy and Climate Change to develop a climate change action plan for Florida. The Action Team released the final report to Florida Governor Crist in October 2008, which contained 50 separate policy recommendations on energy and climate change as well as a framework and recommendations on developing a cap and trade program for Florida. The Florida Energy and Climate Change Commission was created in 2008 to oversee the implementation of the Action Plan.

Project Implementation

The Action Team was established during the “Serve to Preserve" climate summit in July 2007 and charged with developing a comprehensive energy and climate change action plan. Governor Crist assigned Secretary of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Mike Sole as the Chair of the Action Team and directed staff from DEP to serve as support. The Action Team was represented by 21 members from various sectors including the Chair of the Florida Public Service Commission, Consumer Advocate, Chair of the Energy Commission, and members of the Florida legislature and business, environmental, and academic communities. The Phase 1 report was delivered on November 1, 2007, and included 30 recommendations to improve Florida’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After submitting the Phase 1 report, the Action Team worked alongside the Center for Climate Strategies to include a stakeholder process in developing the final Action Plan. Six technical working groups (TWGs) were developed as a way to explore the development of long-term public policy, including adaptation, agriculture, forestry and water, cap and trade, energy supply and demand, government policy, transportation, and land use. On October 15, 2008, Governor Crist received the second and final report of the Action Team. The Phase 2 report contains 50 separate policy recommendations as well as a suite of recommendations as guidance to the Florida DEP in its development of a regulatory, market-based, cap and trade emissions limiting program. The final report was built upon the Phase 1 report and the recommendations from the TWGs.

The Action Plan includes inventories and projections of Florida greenhouse gas emissions; energy supply and demand strategies; a cap-and-trade action; revisions of transportation and land use; strategies to address impacts to agriculture, forestry, and waste management; integrated government policy and coordination; and adaptation strategies. The final recommendations of the Action Plan were developed through evaluation and consensus building led by the Center of Climate Solutions between the Action Team, the TWGs, and public comment.

Project Outcomes and Conclusions

The Action Plan recommends ways for Florida to achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 11% by 2017 and by 34% by 2025 and serves as a framework for climate change mitigation priorities. General adaptation recommendations include coordination between the Florida Department of Community Affairs and Regional Planning Councils to include climate change adaptation in the comprehensive planning process; promoting business development opportunities in climate protection and adaptation, natural resource protection, water resource management, insurance, emergency preparedness, built environment, infrastructure, and community protection; more research and climate change analysis; increased state funding; and education. To oversee the implementation of the Action Plan, Florida Governor Crist created the Florida Energy and Climate Commission. To date, the adaptation recommendations have not received the same prioritization as the mitigation measures.

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Recommended Citation

Score, A. (2010). Florida Governor's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change: Developing an Energy and Climate Action Plan [Case study on a project of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/florida-governor’s-action-team-energ... (Last updated February 2010)