Working group seeks to make Sanibel a model in climate policy
On May 21, Lee County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project co-founder Bob Moore and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Environmental Policy Director James Evans hosted the first meeting of the Renewable Energy Working Group, according to the SCCF.
The meeting brought together a collection of civic leaders, businesspeople, climate activists and educators to discuss opportunities to address climate change through local renewable energy policies.
“The aim of this group is to make Sanibel a model for climate policy, similar to the way the Sanibel Plan has been a model for sustainable community development,” Evans said.
By collaborating with a group of local leaders in the fields of renewable energy, conservation, water quality and business, the group aims to educate and engage communities on cost-effective energy policy with the focus of establishing greater climate resiliency.
“We want to encourage the transition to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, in order to lessen our impact on rising global temperatures and sea levels,” Moore said.
The group’s plan brings many benefits to Sanibel. Their work will focus on solutions to reducing greenhouse gases, economic benefits of renewable energy, reducing energy costs to businesses, municipalities and residents, and mitigating long-term impacts and costs of the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, increased storm intensity and impacts on water quality.
The SCCF reported that climate change is a multifaceted problem that will require solutions from various disciplines. The group is starting at the local level with its focus on Sanibel, but the hope is that over time it will drive progress on the regional, state and national levels by highlighting Sanibel’s success as a model community.
In addition, the group will work with members of the Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Compact in their efforts to make the region more resilient to the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
“By combining efforts across Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties, we will be able to capitalize on the expertise of compact members and educate a wider range of communities throughout the region,” Evans said.