Florida Proposes Significant Climate Legislation

Last month, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Energy hosted the 2019 Florida Energy and Climate Summit where participants learned how Florida is diversifying its energy sources; promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative vehicle technology; spurring economic growth; and adapting to climate change.

During the summit, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nicole “Nikki” Fried released the Florida Energy and Climate Plan. This plan provides realistic steps and strategies for Florida to secure clean, affordable energy while creating new opportunities for Florida’s economy and addressing the growing crisis of climate change.

Florida Commissioner Fried also unveiled substantive energy legislation for Florida focusing on interconnectedness of energy with other sectors including agriculture, transportation, and the environment.

A few highlights of Commissioner Fried’s legislative package include:
- $250,000 allotted for Florida climate adaptation research
- Greenhouse gas inventories for state-owned buildings to see how much the state is emitting
- Providing farms energy audits and 80% cost-share reimbursements to implement energy savings upgrades
- Putting $10 million in research and development for innovation solutions that increase resilience, ensure sustainability, and address the inter-connectedness of agriculture, energy, and water issues
- Leases for floating PV systems
- Spending $150,000 on two studies looking at the energy burden on low-income communities

To learn more about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Energy and the work they are doing, visit their website.