Message from the Mayor
Climate change is increasingly visible, undeniable and inevitable, across the globe and here at home. I came into office as your County mayor to make sure we prepare for the future with determination and hope. I will not run or hide from the challenges, and I will make sure you are informed and ready to engage with me in the solutions. I have urged all Miami-Dade County Departments to swiftly implement the recommendations in this Climate Action Strategy (CAS). Officially launched on Oct. 27, 2021, this plan describes work taking place on multiple fronts to cut Miami-Dade’s greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030 from 2019 levels, with the goal of achieving net zero by 2050.
This Strategy reflects an unprecedented level of teamwork both within County government and throughout our entire community. Building on the coordination and strength of long-standing partnerships, the CAS also provides a template for other cities and counties through our great partnership with the ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability working group. These elected leaders from around the world stood with me to unveil our plan at the United Nations 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in November 2021. In order to achieve our ambitious goals, we must continue to support our multiple regional partners, as we together transition to clean, renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency, and create new economic opportunity.
A prime example of the collaborative strength of CAS is the Clean Energy 2030 Task Force report, created by the Miami-Dade County Public School Board and released on February 9, 2022. This report outlines how our public schools will seek to achieve 100 percent net-zero clean energy by 2030, which helps advance the County’s CAS objectives while fulfilling Miami-Dade’s pledge to be a leading partner in ICLEI’s international Race to Zero. Municipalities joining us in this Countywide strategy include Miami and Miami Beach, which both released their strategies in 2022.
With each new scientific report released on the effects of climate change, the call to urgent action becomes clearer: We must urgently accelerate the transition away from greenhouse gases. The increasing costs of inaction are simply too great. In 2020, extreme weather cost U.S. taxpayers $99 billion; 2021 was even worse. And this does not take into account other socio-economic effects of climate change, which range from ecosystem degradation disrupting global food and water supplies to increases in tropical diseases, the overwhelming costs of displacement following floods and wildfires, and the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods due to increasing extreme heat events, which are the world’s “number one silent killer,” claiming more lives each year than all other natural disasters combined.
These challenges can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Miami-Dade’s strength is in our ability to harness opportunity. Our climate opportunity lies in embracing a green economy and propelling us into a renaissance of human ingenuity. Our “SMART” transit plan and land use policies designed to shift away from endless urban sprawl are critically important carbon-cutting economic development strategies. Our nationally renowned “Environmentally Endangered Lands” program to protect and restore critical wetland and forests provide valuable “carbon sinks” that bring enormous economic benefit to our community while protecting us from the impacts of climate change. Our county parks are being transformed into areas that can help absorb water to help mitigate flood risks. And our growing blue-green tech economy drives innovation for sustainability while also creating jobs for the future, fueled by our County’s own economic development team.
I am grateful to the many organizations, local government employees and residents who collaborated to help create Miami-Dade County’s Climate Action Strategy. We are now at the pivotal stage of implementing recommendations in this plan. This “all in” strategy ensures that no community is left behind as we develop a new blue-green economy that not only reduces emissions but also helps guarantee that our community has clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink, and a thriving ecosystem in which to live, work and play more resiliently. CAS will help us build back better – sustainably and resiliently – as we work to make Miami-Dade “future ready.”
To make sure that the ideas in this Strategy leap off the drawing board to become real-world solutions, I’ve established a Resilience Action Team with leaders from all departments in Miami-Dade government, led by our new Resilience Planning Director, and also appointed the world’s first Chief Heat Officer and the County’s first Chief Bay Officer. I’ve met with amazing youth and environmental justice advocates and look forward to continuing to collaborate on equitable, community-driven climate solutions.
I thank everyone who reads this Climate Action Strategy and takes action to help heal our planet. Whether you are already engaged in this critical work, or new to the conversation, we depend on your continuing interest and dedication to meet the challenges ahead.
- Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava
Office of Resilience
The Office of Resilience's mission is to lead Miami-Dade County to a resilient and environmentally sustainable future by identifying vulnerabilities, coordinating stakeholders and facilitating innovative solutions.