Urgently addressing the climate crisis requires concerted policy changes across all levels of government. Efforts of local governments in the Compact region to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build resilience are critical. The 2022 Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognized the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from the utility sector. However, it limits how far that authority reaches, further cementing the continued importance of sub-national action. That said, the aggressive, urgent and scaled climate action needed to zero out GHG emissions and adapt to unavoidable impacts is not possible without federal and state policy. Federal and state governments can and must do more. They hold greater levels of authority; have access to more significant funding; operate on broader scales and build, operate, and maintain a vast array of critical infrastructure in Southeast Florida. Further, local government action can be hamstrung or limited through pre-emptive, state-level policies that work against critical and regionally shared resilience objectives.
Public policy advocacy is one of the core functions for which the Compact was created. The Compact seeks to influence elected representatives and agency staff at the state and federal levels to advance key legislative issues, budget priorities and regulations important to Southeast Florida’s climate priorities. The Compact partners must coordinate their advocacy on climate, energy and resilience issues to amplify the region’s voice in Tallahassee and Washington — and influence legislation and programs like the federal Inflation Reduction Act and the state’s Resilient Florida Program. The Compact's shared advocacy efforts — whether state or federal, legislative or regulatory — are based on policy documents approved by each Compact county’s respective Board of County Commissioners. While individual issues will change from year to year and are reflected in the Compact's annual policy platform documents, the Compact partners remain firmly committed to raising their voices in unison for the benefit of the region and the planet.