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Conservation Group Asks House, Senate Leaders For Joint Select Committee On Climate Change

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Legislative advocacy group Florida Conservation Voters is asking new leadership in the State Capitol for a joint select committee on climate change.

Executive Director Aliki Moncrief’s recent letter is addressed to the Republican Senate President and House Speaker - Bill Galvano and Jose Oliva. It comes after two reports, one from the United Nations and another from federal agencies, that outline the need for climate change action.

“The committee can call experts from the energy sector, for example, to talk about policies that could actually put us on a path to a more clean energy future,” Moncrief said.

What’s the benefit of forming a single-issue committee? Moncrief says doing so can more effectively “harness the focus” of the legislature.

“Creating a committee creates a forum, where these lawmakers who have an interest or maybe even some expertise in these areas can be appointed to the committees to really take a hard look,” she said.

To Moncrief, tackling climate issues creates an opportunity for Republicans.

“This is a huge opportunity for Republican leadership to say ‘You know what, we recognize that climate change is probably the most life-threatening, life-altering crisis that we face,’” Moncrief said. “Whether they want to talk about it from an economic angle – I mean, if they want to talk about it in terms of economics, there’s plenty of material there.”

The 2019 Legislative Session kicks off in March.

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Ryan Dailey is a reporter for News Service of Florida. He previously was a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio.