The State of Florida just issued a final report on energy and climate change with some hopeful findings. Its policy recommendations would not only reduce Florida's greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, but also save the state $28 billion:
The total net cost savings of all Action Team recommendations combined is more than $28 billion from 2009 to 2025. Additionally, the recommendations would increase Florida’s energy security by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels resulting in a total fuel savings of 53.5 billion gallons of petroleum, 200.2 million short tons of coal, and 6.394 billion ft.³ of natural gas during the period of 2009 through 2025.
What steps does the report recommend? Gristmill reports, "The recommendations include diversifying the state's energy supply (adding solar, wind, nuclear, and cogeneration sources), reducing energy demand (through efficiency), implementing a cap-and-trade system, and taking measures to reduce emissions in the transportation, land use, agriculture, forestry, and waste management sectors. It also outlines adaptation strategies to address the effects of climate change that are already underway."
The SolveClimate blog emphasizes the report's crucially important point that climate change solutions help the economy:
Although the plan's focus is on Florida, its release is timely and important to the national dialogue on the fate of climate change solutions during these economically troubled times. The authors state in no uncertain terms that they believe climate action is not a costly policy package best postponed for better times, but the central and vital engine of economic recovery.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) also has found that savings from cutting greenhouse gas emissions outweigh the costs.
This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.