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Create Multiple Benefits through Equitable Climate Action

Answer

1. REDUCE ENERGY BILL BURDEN FOR MIAMI-DADE HOUSEHOLDS

Energy burden is defined as spending 6% or more on your income on your monthly electricity bill. Miami's low-income households have an energy burden that is 3x higher than their non-low-income counterparts (ACEEE, 2020). Energy efficiency programs are how we reduce energy burden, and are also the quickest, most cost-effective way to begin to address the climate crisis.

  • Expand the County's existing weatherization program to include options to relieve energy burden on low-income renters, such as portable A/C units, and cost savings through distributed renewable energy generation, such as rooftop solar
  • Research and prioritize strategies to make buildings more efficient, and track progress based on cost savings to improve affordability for tenants
  • Expand the County's existing weatherization program to include options to relieve energy burden on low-income renters - for example, by targeting multifamily-building owners that would in turn guarantee rental affordability
  • Integrate wrap-around social services, weatherization/energy efficiency, and other sustainability measures in new and existing affordable housing complexes

2. PREPARE & PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES FROM EXTREME HEAT & FLOODING

Miami-Dade County residents experience over 77 more days over 90°F than in 1970 (Climate Central, 2020). Scientists predict that by 2036, more than half the days each year will record temperatures over 90°F in Miami-Dade. Our outdoor workers, public transit riders, and households without affordable, reliable air conditioning are disproportionately exposed to the health harms of extreme heat. At the same time, sea-level rise contributes to flooding and stronger storms that impact our mobility, building quality, health and safety.

  • Research and champion local protections for outdoor workers to have access to cool drinking water, shaded recovery periods, and the information needed to care for themselves and others during extreme heat episodes
  • Launch a program to provide and require residential window screens to reduce indoor heat and mosquito exposure in Miami-Dade County
  • Ensure that County tree canopy investments create continuous shaded spaces for transit riders, prioritizing urban heat islands in low-wealth neighborhoods
  • Ensure that County septic-to-sewer investments prioritize assistance for low-income homeowners and renters
  • Ensure robust resilience benefits are incorporated in neighborhood design standards and expansion of the municipal park system, to improve multi-use public spaces and minimize abandonment or illegal dumping

3. CHAMPION A JUST TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY

Climate justice means that our responses to the climate crisis must provide multiple benefits for everyone, starting with the people who have the fewest resources to cope or adapt to the hazards and stressors.. In Miami-Dade, low-wealth neighborhoods and historically disadvantaged groups (e.g., recent immigrants; pregnant people; people living with disabilities, chronic illness, or critical care needs) bear disproportionate burdens. We must take bold, swift action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate crisis in a way that builds community-level resilience.

  • Design and publish an annual accountability framework for impacted community members to evaluate progress achieved through resilience policy at the City and County levels
  • Leverage the insights and expertise of frontline residents to implement just, equitable and inclusive climate action strategies at the City and County levels


Primary Partners: Community Leadership on the Environment Advocacy and Resilience (CLEAR) program alumni, Miami Climate Alliance, The Miami Foundation, Florida International University, Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), South Florida Community Development Coalition, The Allapattah Collaborative CDC, Florida Rising, University of Miami Office of Civic & Community Engagement, University of Miami Climate Risk and Preparedness Research Group, WeCount!, TAPARI, The Nature Conservancy, Konscious Kontractors, CLEO Institute, People’s Economic and Environmental Resiliency (PEER) Group, and Earthjustice.