Miami region, Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg Launch New “Big Tent” Climate
Jupiter, Fla. – Four major Florida cities are joining forces on a new initiative – The Florida Race to Zero. The race is a friendly competition between the four cities to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050 (a critical deadline to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change).
The new coalition was launched as part of a Florida Climate Week event. The cities were
represented at the event by their sustainability / resilience officers: Chris Castro from the City of Orlando, Whit Remer from the City of Tampa, John Klopp from the City of Miami and Sharon
Wright from the City of St. Petersburg. Nic Glover of the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce
moderated the virtual event.
In Glover’s words, “We're here today to talk about how the combined power of Florida's mayors and cities can move public opinion on the all-important issue of climate change and carbon neutrality. The unique credibility of mayors and their commitment in this space helps to make the business case for fighting climate change and helps to bring more partners to the table and more partners along from the corporate and economic universe.”
Orlando Sustainability & Resilience Director Chris Castro explained the origin of the effort:
“Back in the fall of 2020, Mayor Dyer here in Orlando, along with Mayor Suarez in Miami and
Mayor Castor in Tampa teamed up to co-write an op-ed entitled - Florida Cities Can't Fight
Climate Change Alone - the essence of this article was really calling out for more collaborative
action - to combat climate change at all levels of government and across the private sector and really trying to get Floridians themselves on board with this movement.”
Castro further explained, “This Race to Zero campaign is a big deal. It's an evolution of the climate commitments that cities all around the world have been making, and ultimately, it's trying to get us to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. And, to align with science-based targets, trying to get 50% reduction in 2030 and 75% reduction in 2040.”
“I think we're all here to help create an organization that takes these mayors doing work that’s
kind of siloed in our communities... and then connects it all together and amplifies it with the
goal of bringing new partners to the table and really moving the needle on statewide public
opinion so we can all get behind these critical, important issues of climate and climate
neutrality,” added Tampa Sustainability & Resilience Officer Whit Remer.
Glover stressed the need to involve the business community: “On this topic, people need to see every day how this is creating jobs and impacting them in a positive way.
We need to leverage those opportunities,” echoed St. Petersburg Director of Sustainability &
Resiliency Sharon Wright.
The Florida Race to Zero will recruit other municipalities and stakeholders to join the race.
*The Florida Race To Zero launch event at Florida Climate Week can be viewed via this link
Media Contact / Questions:
Carson Chandler, Align Public Strategies