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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Florida Youth File Petition for Rulemaking with FDACS for Goal of 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

WASHINGTON -
On Wednesday, January 5, 2022, over 150 Florida youth - led by four former youth plaintiffs in Reynolds v. State of Florida - filed a petition for rulemaking with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) asking it to establish a goal to generate 100% of Florida’s electricity from renewable energy by 2050.
 
The proposed rule submitted by young Floridians calls on the FDACS to require “each electric utility that produces or purchases electricity for consumption in the State of Florida” to set and achieve goals to generate 100% of Florida’s electricity from renewable energy by 2050, with three interim goals to guide and evaluate the transition: at least 40% renewable energy by 2030, at least 63% renewable energy by 2035, and at least 82% renewable energy by 2040. The proposed goals come from energy experts who have concluded that it is economically and technically feasible to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050. Other experts have found that transitioning to renewable energy would create 222,082 construction jobs and 90,727 operation jobs, reduce energy costs, and save lives. 
 
“Florida law is clear that Commissioner Fried has the statutory authority to set goals to increase the use of renewable energy in Florida,” said Andrea Rodgers, one of the Our Children’s Trust attorneys representing the youth petitioners. “The youth are simply asking that she follow the black letter of the law and heed the advice of energy experts. Now more than ever, young people in Florida need a political leader who will stand up for them and protect their constitutional rights.”
 
Florida is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the United States and, as of 2020, only 4.3% of Florida’s energy came from renewable sources, while natural gas made up 75% of Florida’s electricity system. Meanwhile, people and communities in Florida experience numerous devastating impacts of the climate crisis: rising sea levels and resultant flooding, beach erosion and damage to coastal property, extreme damage to marine ecosystems, spread of infectious diseases, increased severity of storms and extreme weather events, and suffering tourism, agriculture, and recreation industries. In 2011, the Florida legislature mandated FDACS to increase the use of renewable energy and reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels; however, Commissioner Fried has still not implemented this law and Florida’s electricity system is still dominated by fossil fuels. 
 
“Most adults in charge today simply talk about the issue and fail us, our future and our environment by nearly never actually acting to address the core problem; fossil fuel pollution that creates greenhouse gases that are warming earth to dangerous levels,” wrote Delaney Reynolds, one of the lead youth petitioners, on her blog for “The Sink or Swim Project.” She continued, “The good news is that we have a law in place that allows Florida’s government to enact actual change right now if only our leaders were compelled to do more about the problem than talk about it while they protect the special interests and polluters that want to avoid or delay the changes we must implement to solve this crisis.”
 
This petition for rulemaking, signed by over 150 young people ages 25 and younger from across the state of Florida, is part of an international, youth-led legal campaign that is supported by the nonprofit public interest law firm, Our Children’s Trust, which also represented and supported the Florida youth plaintiffs in Reynolds v. State of Florida and currently represents the 21 youth plaintiffs in the federal constitutional climate case, Juliana v. United States.
 
Additional information, including the petition for rulemaking submitted by Florida youth today, can be found at www.ourchildrenstrust.org/floridapetition.

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Our Children's Trust is a nonprofit organization advocating for urgent emissions reductions on behalf of youth and future generations, who have the most to lose if emissions are not reduced. OCT is spearheading the international human rights and environmental TRUST Campaign to compel governments to safeguard the atmosphere as a "public trust" resource. We use law, film, and media to elevate their compelling voices. Our ultimate goal is for governments to adopt and implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans with annual emissions reductions to return to an atmospheric carbon

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