The CLEO Institute working in coalition with New Florida Majority, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Florida Conservation Voters (FCV), Voces Verdes, and Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) has launched a billboard campaign as part of the Florida Climate Pledge to help Floridians connect the dots between climate change and their concerns: economy, health, and displacement.
The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released on Oct. 8, states that an increase of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit could be reached in as few as 11 years—and almost certainly within 20 years without major cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. This is going to have a devastating impact on quality of life, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, sea-level rise, floods, and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.
Floridians are encouraged to start thinking about climate change from a personal perspective. The objective of the campaign’s provocative billboards is to shock people into reality, and usher them into understanding that climate change is impacting them now. From an image of a little girl with a nebulizer to the algal blooms impacting our economy, pictures are worth a thousand words. These powerful billboards show the true impacts of climate change.
“As a person who grew up in Miami, and is now raising her family here, it shocks me to see how little people think about climate change in their day-to-day,” said Natalia Ortiz, Director of Development for The CLEO Institute.
“There are so many things we can be doing as individuals, and as a community, if we just take the time to understand the science and the urgency of climate change.”
Florida is the most vulnerable state to climate change, which is why Floridians need to understand the urgency for climate action. The state is at a tipping point, caught between the impacts of climate change and the lack of mitigation and adaption policies coming out of the state capital in Tallahassee.
According to Matt Lappé, Executive Director of the Alliance for Climate Education, when it comes to climate change, young people have the most to lose, and the most to gain by fighting it.
“Youth also have the unique moral authority to pressure leaders to take climate action seriously. It is our hope that the Florida Climate Pledge will help young people show candidates and elected officials that inaction on climate change is not an option,” he said.
“Defending Florida’s future from the effects of climate change requires a commitment to stop our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Franz Matzner, deputy director for federal campaigns at NRDC. “Some of our country’s most vibrant ocean waters—and our climate—are being threatened by drilling for oil and gas of our treasured coastlines.”
The Florida Climate Pledge is a call to action for Floridians and elected officials to pledge to protect natural resources and support mitigation and adaptations strategies to combat climate change.
Rocketdog Creative Studio, a boutique agency with offices in New York and Miami, got involved with the campaign after taking a climate training from The CLEO Institute, and is credited for the creative. The billboards can be seen in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Ft. Myers.
The CLEO Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization exclusively dedicated to climate change education, engagement, and advocacy. Founded in 2010 by Caroline Lewis and headquartered in Miami, the organization works with frontline communities and their leaders to build climate literacy. CLEO also highlights the urgency of climate action and impact policy, while championing solutions for a resilient future.