Republicans lawmakers in Florida’s coastal communities cannot afford to play politics with climate change issues, according to Palm Beach County Mayor Steve Abrams. Abrams, a Republican who was deeply engaged on the issue as county commissioner, recently said, “We don’t have the luxury at the local level to engage in these lofty policy debates.”
In 2015, Palm Beach County appointed a climate change and sustainability coordinator who is preparing a climate change action plan for the county and a greenhouse gas inventory that will show the biggest sources of pollution in county government. The county has already added nearly 200 hybrid vehicles to its fleet, instituted better traffic flow mechanisms to reduce idling time, and created a “living shoreline” where plants provide protection from erosion.
“I have been in knee-deep water in many parts of my district during King Tide,” Abrams noted. “People are very concerned about property values.”
In October, Palm Beach County will host South Florida leaders for a climate change summit.