August 2007

Governor Crist Moves Florida Toward Emissions Reduction

Photo of Governor Charlie Crist.
Florida Governor
Charlie Crist
Photo: Courtesy of

On Friday July 13, 2007, Governor Charlie Crist signed three executive orders that will move Florida to a national leadership position in renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction.

In the first executive order (#07-126), Crist states that Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) are to be gradually decreased over the next eighteen years, starting with 10 percent over the next four years. Crist sets an expectation that these gases will be drastically reduced by 40 percent by 2025. The order states that all new buildings in Florida owned and operated by the Department of Management Services (DMS) are to be built according to the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction (LEED-NC) and are to strive for the Platinum Level certification, the highest level of certification. Existing buildings owned by DMS must follow the LEED-EB standards. Agencies and departments will not lease office space that does not meet ENERGY STAR® building standards. Additionally, Crist’s order requires that state government fleets drive fuel-efficient vehicles that minimize emissions of greenhouse gases. The Department of Environmental Protection will develop bid criteria for rental vehicles that incorporate best possible energy efficiency and environmental performance.

The second executive order (#07-127) establishes statewide GHG emission reduction targets. Governor Crist has set goals to lower Florida’s emissions and aims to return to the state’s year 2000 GHG emission levels by 2012; then by 2025 Florida is expected to be at the1990 emission level. Crist’s ambitious goal for the GHG level in the year 2050 is an 80 percent reduction of the 1990 level. The state will adopt the California motor vehicle emission standards for greenhouse gases and will also adopt a statewide diesel engine idle reduction standard. In addition, Crist has requested that 20 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources with a focus on solar and wind energy. This order becomes effective Sept.1, 2007.

Executive order number three (#07-128) creates an action team that will develop a comprehensive Energy and Climate Change Action Plan. The Governor intends for this plan to fully achieve Executive Order targets for statewide greenhouse gas reductions. The action team will be comprised of diverse members, each providing expertise and knowledge. The action plan will be completed in two phases with the first going into effect Nov. 1, 2007 and the second by Oct. 1, 2008.

The Governor also signed international agreements with the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany. Florida joins each nation in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and calls for immediate worldwide action. Florida hopes to strengthen ties with each country while improving upon the science and technologies used for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving public policies and overall increasing climate-friendly commerce between Florida, the United Kingdom and Germany.