Miami – (RealEstateRama) — As a state on the front lines of climate change, Florida needs to upgrade its crumbling infrastructure and invest in innovative energy, transportation, and flood protections to withstand sea-level rise and more extreme weather.
Florida cannot afford to wait for federal action to implement workable infrastructure solutions that support the state’s economy and the daily lives of Floridians. That’s why a new column from the Center for American Progress and The CLEO Institute urges state officials to create a Florida Future Fund.
The fund would make forward-leaning investments that support resilient energy, transportation, and flood and heat protection projects that improve public health and quality of life in neighborhoods. These improvements would help the state weather more frequent and intense storm surges, floods, and heat waves associated with climate change and more powerful hurricanes.
These problems are particularly tough in low-income areas, indigenous communities, and communities of color already overburdened by the legacies of historic inequities, pollution, and disinvestment. Improvements supported by the fund would strengthen Florida’s economy and improve quality of life for residents by increasing energy security and air and water quality, cutting energy bills, and reducing time wasted sitting in heavy traffic.
State leaders could have several options to capitalize the Florida Future Fund. They could issue state bonds, use a minor expansion of state revenue collected from real estate transactions, or identify other potential tax revenues. State leaders could also add a small “future-ready” surcharge to utility bills to support the fund.
“Creating a fund that supports resilient energy, transportation, and flood and heat protection projects would jumpstart clean and inclusive economic growth, improve neighborhood livability, and actually save money in the long run,” said Cathleen Kelly, a senior fellow for Energy and Environment at CAP. “Studies have shown that every dollar spent on building resilient communities and infrastructure saves $6 in future costs from the damage and devastation caused by extreme weather disasters.”
“In the absence of federal leadership, Florida’s policymakers have an opportunity to lead the way on building future-read infrastructure, including in communities that need it the most,” said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, senior climate advisor at The CLEO Institute. “By launching a Florida Future Fund, state leaders can make big leaps toward creating good jobs and protecting public health and air and water quality for all Floridians.”
Read the column: “Florida Future Fund: Accelerating Investment in Resilient Infrastructure and Communities,” by Cathleen Kelly, Miranda Peterson and Yoca Arditi-Rocha.
For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel (at) americanprogress (dot) org, or 202-478-6327.
Contact: Sam Hananel
Email: shananel (at) americanprogress (dot) org