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Miami-Dade, Key West: We Still Support Paris Climate Accord

Increased flooding during high tides, like this one in October 2016 in Key West, has raised local concerns about climate change.
Nancy Klingener
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WLRN
Increased flooding during high tides, like this one in October 2016 in Key West, has raised local concerns about climate change.

Commissioners in Miami-Dade County and the city of Key West have voted to endorse  the Paris Climate Accord, despite President Donald Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the international agreement to cut carbon emissions earlier this month.

On Tuesday, both the Miami-Dade County Commission and the Key West City Commission voted to support the agreement.

"We're ground zero. We're at the forefront of what's happening globally. So it's very important for us to weigh in," said Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, who sponsored the county's resolution.

The historic Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale, during king tide flooding in 2013.
Credit Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department, Broward County
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The historic Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale, during king tide flooding in 2013.

Key West commissioners cited similar concerns at their meeting.

"Being an island surrounded by water, our engineering department's going to have to get really good at building walls to keep the water out if the water levels rise at a faster pace," said Key West Commissioner Sam Kaufman.

In neither case was the support unanimous. Two Miami-Dade commissioners voted against the measure, as did two Key West commissioners.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez said he disliked the terms of the Paris agreement.

"That was just a bad deal for the United State and the American citizens," he said. "It doesn't mean we can't continue to do what we need to do for our environment. We should."

Key West Commissioner Margaret Romero said she did not think it was the city's role to weigh in on national political matters.

"Let's concentrate on what we can do, and if anything else, let's lead by action, not just writing letters," she said.

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Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.
Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.
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