A recent poll by Fabrizio and Associates shows that climate change has climbed to a #4 issue amongst Florida voters.
Tens of thousands of properties are at risk in Florida from climate change and sea level rise. Others face the stark repercussions of energy insecurity. Chronic flooding, severe weather, and increased energy prices will impact everyone who lives in the Sunshine State.
Our changing climate doesn’t just threaten the environment, it also threatens our economy. Forward-thinking sustainable projects, from the public and private sectors, must integrate into Florida’s infrastructure to protect our state. We already see a spike in solar installations, increased EV adoption, and a desire from Florida voters for energy-independent policies.
Florida business leaders understand the need to make sustainability and climate resilience an integral part of their future practices to protect their bottom line. From energy efficiency and renewable energy to structural preservation and water quality, businesses recognize that tomorrow’s success depends on our environmental responsibility today. Local developers report increased consumer demand for new business ventures that minimizes carbon risk, improves energy efficiency, and reduces long-term costs for clients. These sustainable investment opportunities set our state up for long-term business success and will have lasting impacts on our quality of life and economy.
The Environmental Defense Fund and the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership are partnering together to highlight these efforts made in Pinellas County through the Inaugural 2022 Sustainable Leadership Awards. These awards will recognize development projects and local business leaders who are prioritizing sustainability as part of their business plans, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient Florida. By highlighting best practices from Florida business leaders, we can help to move the entire state forward to a more successful and sustainable future.
On sustainability, it’s clear; Florida voters are ready for a change and Florida businesses are leading the way. Now, it’s up to policymakers to act.
Dawn Shirreffs is the Florida director of the Environmental Defense Fund. Dawn works to bring nature-based solutions to the toughest climate challenges that Florida faces.
Jason Mathis serves as the CEO of the Downtown Partnership in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Partnership is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to thoughtful growth and urban redevelopment. Its mission is to champion community prosperity through purposeful, transformative projects.