RELEASE: Grassroots Groups Praise New Climate Plan for Southeast Florida That Includes Focus on Social Equity, Racial Justice

Miami — Southeast Florida leaders have released a new and improved plan to fight climate change that focuses on social equity and racial justice, according to a new fact sheet from The CLEO Institute, Catalyst Miami, and the Center for American Progress.

The new plan from the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact—the Regional Climate Action Plan (RCAP 2.0)—is designed to guide the efforts of local leaders to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the economic, public health, and societal risks of climate change. The goal is to help leaders in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties transition away from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy, as well as upgrade community and economic infrastructure to withstand more intense and frequent extreme weather trends.

The RCAP 2.0 includes recommendations for local leaders aimed at reducing the historic economic and racial inequities that make low-income areas and communities of color more vulnerable to rising sea levels; hotter heat waves; more intense and frequent storms; and other climate change effects.

“This new plan calls on local leaders to make equity an integral part of policymaking; planning; and budget and project development,” said Cathleen Kelly, a senior fellow for Energy and Environment at CAP. “Leaders that pay close attention to the revised plan’s equity recommendations will build communities that are safer, healthier, and more prosperous.”

“We must insist that resilience plans include shoring up of humanity as well as infrastructure,” said Caroline Lewis, the executive director at The CLEO Institute. “Climate disruptions are threat multipliers, especially to the most vulnerable among us who must contend with not just tidal flooding and sea level rise, but gentrification and economic, food, water, health, and heat vulnerability. For example, those without working air conditioning must be kept safe during intense heat waves. The revised plan will help our leaders to address these kinds of disparities.”

“People in Little Haiti and Liberty City deserve as much of a chance to thrive in the face of a changing climate as people in South Beach,” said Zelalem Adefris, the climate resilience program manager at Catalyst Miami. “The new plan looks to include all communities as we work together as a region to reduce climate pollution and prepare for its impacts.”

Read the fact sheet: “Social Equity Key to Southeast Florida RCAP 2.0

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 202-478-6327.