Retrofitting Tampa Bay for climate change: From understanding to action

April 26, 2016

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Closer to home, the Miami area has been focused on building regional capacity to address climate change. In 2009, 108 South Florida municipalities voluntarily formed the Southeast Florida Regional Compact for Climate Change. Three years later, that regional group produced a plan with 110 different measures cities could take to offset their carbon emissions and manage their exposure to sea level rise and other climate change impacts.

Today, a great deal of the Compact’s work focuses on “helping people go from zero to 60 on climate change planning,” says Katherine Hagemann, who helps support the work of the Compact in her role as the Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator for Miami-Dade County. The Compact works through the efforts of several thematic working groups, and facilitates regular workshops on specific capacity building topics, she explains. To date, the workshops have been popular. In April (2016), for example, the Compact hosted a half-day workshop on the economics of climate risk management that was targeted specifically for city managers, budget and finance managers and economic development staff. That workshop designed for a room of 100, was fully booked and had a waitlist nearly as long, Hagemann adds.

Outside of her work with the Compact, Hagemann says her work is all about ensuring that climate change considerations get woven into Miami-Dade County’s projects. That entails building capacity and partnerships both within the county and within the community, by “facilitating those partnerships and projects to ensure we’re working together,” she explains. Her team meets with stakeholders far and wide to look for smart ways to address climate change, from building manager associations to university students, chambers of commerce to global insurance professionals.