Leon commissioners declare 'climate emergency;' city touts 100% clean energy by 2050
After a near-miss hurricane and a long summer of record-breaking severe heat, Tallahassee's young environmentalists say now more than ever is the time to fight against climate change — and they now have local government's support.
In a 6 to 1 vote, Leon County commissioners endorsed a declaration stating the capital county is in "a climate emergency" and will continue to work with the GenCLEO advocacy group, a branch of the CLEO Institute, which advocates for climate action and policy.
"This climate emergency resolution that was passed is a huge, huge deal," said Samantha Kaddis, the 22-year-old Tallahassee regional manager for GenCLEO. "Leon County has now joined eight other municipalities in passing similar climate emergency declarations."
Kaddis said the resolution is there to help keep officials accountable for the current sustainability work they have undertaken.
The approved resolution calls on the county to reduce greenhouse gases, improve water quality, support the importance of native plants and the local food movement.
"I'm really excited that we're going to have further youth input in our sustainability summits and in our community stakeholder groups because they really are the group that will be most affected by this," Commissioner David O' Keefe said. "I think it's perspective that we need as much as possible."