Miami Beach Assistant City Manager Susanne Torriente is one of the newest city leaders to bring to the table experience in issues of climate change and resiliency, environmental sustainability, mitigation strategy and creating innovative new initiatives in how local government must adapt to the realities of a changing climate. For Miami Beach that of course means sea level rise.
“The city of Miami Beach is clearly a leader, explains Torriente. “It is aggressive in the way these issues involving climate change are being addressed at the political level, the resident level and with staff.”
Torriente is one of many regional leaders attending the 7th annual South East Florida Regional Climate Compact taking place in Key West. The Compact is a partnership between Miami Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach counties to create regional climate governance. In other words, it is a united front for policy and agenda for climate-related issues.
During this year’s event, Torriente will also be on the world stage thanks to her involvement with ICMA, the International City/County Management Association and its program which helped leaders of Durban, South Africa create a compact for that region modeled after the Southeast Florida version. Durban is also a coastal community facing many of the same issues as Miami Beach regarding climate change, sea level rise, flooding and adaptation.
On Saturday, December 5, 2015, Torriente will join South African leaders of the Durban Adaptation Charter, the DAC, for a live webcast. It is a side program to the COP 21; the Paris Climate Conference in France.
“I will be Skyping-in and I’ll be in a panel discussion with the mayor of Durban, city staff and officials from the ICMA in talking about the program; how it came together and how South Florida and Durban are connected,” says Torriente. “Cities are the front line when dealing with climate change. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about what nations are doing, but at the end of the day, climate change is a local government issue. When it rains or floods or when things happen, they call city hall.”
To watch the webcast of the DAC climate event, visit www.youtube.com/user/TheUSCenter , Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 5:45 PM Paris time, 11:45AM Eastern Standard Time.