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Audubon Florida
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Audubon Florida Climate and Energy News Roundup
This week we share news about a budding solar town, ending subsidies, electric vehicles, boosting sea-level rise resilience, a tax break for property owners, and more!
Solar panels. Photo: Canva
Small Florida Community Aims for Energy Independence by Harnessing the Power of the Sun
From NPR

“Florida may be called the Sunshine State, but it is no stranger to the damaging impacts of climate change. Miles O'Brien profiles one small Florida community that is trying to take advantage of all that sunshine, billed as the country's first solar-powered town. This report is part of our collaborative series on climate change and its consequences, ‘Covering Climate Now.’"
RAA Endorses End to NFIP Subsidies for New Builds in Flood Risk Areas
From Reinsurance News

“The Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) has endorsed new legislation to end National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) subsidies for newly-constructed properties in areas vulnerable to flooding. The Build for Future Disasters Act of 2021, reintroduced by Representatives Andy Barr and Scott Peters, would mean NFIP rates reflect up-to-date flood information for properties built from 2025. These new constructions would not qualify for a subsidy, while structures built before 2025 in flood zones or re-mapped into flood zones would still be eligible for grandfathering subsidies.”
Northwest Florida Sees Increasing Interest in All Electric Vehicles

“Across the country, the demand for electric vehicles is increasing. The Department of Transportation reports that in 2019 242,000 electric vehicles were sold in the US. Some are trading in their traditional gas-run cars for electric cars. Channel 3 spoke with a sales consultant at Pete Moore Imports in Pensacola, David Swartout, who said over the past several years they've noticed the demand for electric vehicles has changed.”
Google Earth’s Timelapse Feature Puts a Spotlight on Climate Change
From WSAU News

“Google Earth on Thursday added a timelapse feature to the popular platform, providing a glimpse into how climate change, urbanization and deforestation have altered the planet over the last four decades. Created with 24 million satellite images, along with 800 curated videos and interactive guides, the feature allows users to see a timelapse of any place on the planet, using inputs from the NASA, U.S. Geological Survey's Landsat program and the European Union's Copernicus program.”
Executives Call for Deep Emission Cuts to Combat Climate Change
From the New York Times

“More than 300 businesses, including Google, McDonalds and Walmart, are pushing the Biden administration to nearly double the United States’ target for cuts to planet-warming emissions ahead of an April 22 global summit on climate change. In a letter to President Biden released on Tuesday morning, chief executive officers from some of the nation’s largest companies will call on the administration to set a new Paris Agreement goal of slashing the nation’s carbon dioxide, methane and other planet-warming emissions at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.”
Environmentalists Say Bill To Boost Communities' Resiliency To Sea Level Rise, Flooding Could Be Conversation Starter On Climate Change
From WFSU Public Media

“A bill to address the impacts of sea level rise and flooding has been approved by the Florida legislature and is heading to the governor's desk, where it is expected to be signed into law. Environmentalists say the bill is a step in the right direction but say more needs to be done to address the root cause of climate change. The proposal does many things. It creates the Resilient Florida Grant Program that would give local governments grants to plan and develop projects aimed at combatting the impacts of sea level rise and flooding.”
Sea Level Rise Tax Break Gets Fla. Senate Backing
From WCJT News

“With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, a key Senate panel Wednesday supported providing a tax break to property owners who elevate homes to address potential flooding, part of a House plan to combat rising sea levels. The Senate Finance and Tax Committee unanimously approved a proposal (SJR 1182), sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would ask voters in 2022 to approve a constitutional amendment to provide the property-tax break.”
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