South Florida is one of the regions most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially sea level rise. Miami-Dade County is working to address the root cause: greenhouse gas emissions.
The County is making preparations by upgrading infrastructure, protecting vulnerable communities and supporting innovative solutions. Since 1991, the Board of County Commissioners has passed about 50 resolutions to establish an ecologically, economically and socially sensitive approach to climate change.
- Miami-Dade County’s Climate Action Strategy is a communitywide strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, improve health and make life better. Cleaner air, water and land plus new jobs in the low-carbon economy will save businesses and residents money and raise the quality of life. As a member of the Race to Zero, the County aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and keep global warming below +1.5° Celsius.
- A collaborative process to reduce greenhouse gases and plan for Miami-Dade's future. Miami-Dade County is pleased to share with you GreenPrint: Our Design for a Sustainable Future. The plans development was a fully collaborative process among the many diverse stakeholders of our community: County staff, community groups, experts from the business community and academia, and a wide range of individual Miami-Dade residents. During the course of the year, nearly 100 public meetings were held, and approximately 360 new and existing initiatives were evaluated.
Miami-Dade County government efforts to reduce carbon pollution include:
- Sustainable buildings through Building Efficiency 305
- Strengthening energy in County operations through the Miami-Dade County Electricity Master Plan, an energy management program for county government operations
- The Energy Cost Avoidance Program (ECAP), a utility bill accounting, energy and water management software, which has saved the County millions of dollars
- Save Energy and Money (SEAM), a revolving loan fund that pays upfront capital costs for energy and water efficiency projects and is repaid by subsequent savings
- Internal Revenue Code 179D, which provides a federal tax deduction for installation of energy-efficient technologies. Under 179D, the Office of Resilience has recovered approximately $2.5 million
- Energy efficiency at Miami International Airport, the County's largest electricity consumer, resulting in a savings of more than $10 million and a reduction of 17 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Read more about FlyGreenMIA
- LED bulbs installed at County traffic lights. Nearly 75,000 traffic light signals have been replaced with LED modules. The old bulbs used 135 watts of electricity and the new bulbs use 10 watts, resulting in a projected $2 million annual savings
- Hybrid fleet and biofuels. Miami-Dade County has the third largest public hybrid fleet in the nation according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The County's hybrid electric vehicle fleet annually results a reduction of nearly 500,000 gallons of gasoline and thereby prevents over 6000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the environment. The fleet includes 429 hybrid-electric sedans, 13 hybrid-electric pickups, 152 plug-in hybrid sedans, 60 diesel-electric hybrid buses, 5 compressed natural gas buses and 64 hybrid hydraulic garbage trucks. The County plans to expand the number of alternative fuel vehicles in the future. The light fleet uses E10, a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent unleaded gasoline, when available
- Turning waste into energy. The County's 77-megawatt Resources Recovery Facility is a technologically-advanced waste-to-energy plant, recycling the majority of the County waste (more than million tons annually) into biomass fuel
- Trash and recycling collection centers. There are two Home Chemical Collection Centers in Miami-Dade County to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that enter the environment and 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers to increase the number of new products made from recycled materials. Recycling is single-stream - all recyclable items are placed in one cart - which has increased participation in recycling
- Green purchasing guide. The Internal Services Department's Procurement Management Division has guidelines for County departments to reduce waste and increase environmental efficiency when making purchases through the green purchasing guidelines
- Resources Conservation Committee. The Resource Conservation Committee is made up of employee representatives from 50 Miami-Dade County departments who promote, facilitate and monitor the efforts of all County employees to reduce waste, increase recycling and use environmentally-friendly products
A solar feasibility study for Miami-Dade County, released in October 2018, evaluated the feasibility of on-site solar energy generation and use at County properties.
With technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the initial screening revealed 238 County facilities had suitable roof areas for photovoltaic panels.
Potential installation of photovoltaic panels at the 238 facilities were determined to have a total solar photovoltaic capacity of 61,725 kW and an annual solar energy production of 87,855,519 (87.8 million) kWh.
Following the initial feasibility study, a phase 2 analysis is recommended for detailed site-specific analysis to prioritize facilities for potential solar energy.
In all, solar photovoltaic technology has been integrated into many facilities throughout the County, including parks, school crosswalks and over 900 bus shelters.
Miami-Dade County achieved a SolSmart Gold designation by taking various steps to foster the development of a local solar market such as creating an online solar permitting checklist.
- The County collaborates with Florida International University’s Sea Level Solutions Center to train citizen scientists to identify and assess areas impacted by flooding and the South Florida Water Management District to understand how sea level rise impacts flood risks related to our regional canal network. The Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact is a regional collaborative with Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties to identify climate change impacts
- Building better. Many businesses and institutions are working with architects and developers to determine their vulnerabilities and build higher and stronger in anticipation of future water levels. The insurance and reinsurance industries are leading the field in the preparation of better forecasts of the potential impacts, and in the creation of financial mechanisms to support economic resilience. The County assists these industries and individual property owners through Building Efficiency 305. In 2018, the County assessed the feasibility of creating a sea level rise checklist and plans to create a checklist in the future
- Miami-Dade County Development Plans. The County's sustainability plan, GreenPrint, has been developed to integrate with existing County plans, such as the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) and the Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan. These plans play an important role in protecting the County's resources