Climate Change and the Economy of the Future

We need politicians from both parties to put politics aside and offer real common sense solutions to safeguard our coastal communities. Every day we delay, we risk irreparable damage to our economy, we discourage enterprise and long-term investment, and we make our South Florida community less safe.

Donald Trump and Republican leadership’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge climate change costs our state precious time and resources. We can’t afford another day of Donald Trump’s anti-science agenda.

Climate change and sea level rise present a unique challenge to us in South Florida, but it is also our great opportunity. With smart reforms and a belief in entrepreneurship and human ingenuity, we can not only safeguard our environment and make our communities more resilient, but also expand opportunity and grow jobs.

This is why I am calling for a South Florida moonshot in which we become the first community in the country to be powered entirely by renewable energy. South Florida should be the leader in entrepreneurship and the newest innovations when it comes to renewable energy. At Knight Foundation I launched an initiative that has sparked entrepreneurship and increased opportunity across South Florida. That work continues. But now it’s time to channel this entrepreneurial zeal and focus on addressing sea level rise, and we can.

In Congress, I will impart the urgency of the climate crisis to every single one of my colleagues and work to make real strides in moving federal environmental policy towards a clean energy economy. By embracing forward-thinking energy policies, we can save our planet and create jobs and opportunities for our entire community.

It is well past time that our nation take decisive action on climate. Climate change is the greatest threat currently facing future generations, and here in Miami, we are already witnessing the impact of rising seas and more powerful extreme weather events. South Florida must take the lead on dealing with climate change.

I believe that by driving innovation and entrepreneurship, we can expand opportunity across our community while also mitigating the impact of rising sea levels and climate change. We won’t be able to spend our way out of this crisis, but we may be able to innovate our way into finding a solution.

This includes both supporting entrepreneurs and being open to new ideas, but also embracing competition and open markets. We must end monopolies that stifle innovation and limit choice for consumers, and instead engage in smart deregulation that allows new thinking to be tested and scaled.

It is time for our South Florida community to take the lead in building climate resilience and cutting dangerous carbon pollution as soon as possible.

As daunting as the prospect of climate change may seem, these challenges are not insurmountable. I want South Florida to dream big and embrace the possibilities. By upgrading our infrastructure to mitigate the impact of a changing climate and by investing in clean, sustainable energy, we can unlock real opportunity for our community and drive economic growth by creating a new clean energy economy.

Solutions will fall into two categories: 1. Adaptability -- short term solutions like raising roads and installing water pumps -- 2. Mitigation, where we tackle the long term challenge of transitioning to a clean energy economy.

Florida will need forward-thinking leaders if it hopes to tackle climate change head on and make up for lost time. The opportunity is front of us. But the clock is ticking.