“Resolution Recognizing The Existence Of A Climate Emergency And Supporting Mobilization Efforts To Restore A Safe Climate” Passed In Orlando

Aria McKenna

ORLANDO, FL – November 9, 2020 – The CLEO Institute applauds the City of Orlando and Mayor Buddy Dyer for recognizing the worldwide climate emergency and for committing to take actions to help solve it. This Resolution is in response to scientific studies from the U.N. that state that we must transform every sector of the global economy by 2030 in order to keep warming below 1.5°C. 

The Resolution signed on Monday commits Orlando to take major efforts toward climate restoration. The City has committed to end its dependence on polluting-fossil fuels, draw down carbon from our atmosphere, transition to a fully regenerative agricultural system, conserve and restore our ecosystems and to create a zero carbon economy. Orlando is the 1,815th government around the world to officially recognize the climate emergency. Thirty countries and over 830 Million people have signed the Climate Emergency Declaration to date. 

The CLEO Institute, together with their youth task force, GenCLEO, has worked in partnership with Climate Mobilization to pass the Climate Emergency Declaration in cities throughout Florida, having secured declarations from Miami Beach, Miami, Coral Gables, North Miami, Surfside, Palmetto Bay, and North Bay Village. As with the City of Orlando, CLEO is currently also working to pass Declarations in Tampa, Tallahassee and Miami-Dade County, the petitions can be viewed on their site. 

“The climate crisis affects everyone, but it has a disproportionate effect on low-income and minority communities. According to the United Nations, 1.5°C warming could still “expose 500 million people to water poverty, 36 million people to food insecurity because of lower crop yields, and 4.5 billion people to heat waves. We celebrate Orlando’s response  to the Climate Emergency, and to these disproportionate threats, by creating a Chief Equity Officer position to help navigate these disparities challenges while creating a just path forward’ said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Executive Director of The CLEO Institute.

As part of the city’s commitment to act on this recognition of the Climate Emergency, Orlando also simultaneously approved The Orlando Green Building Incentive Pilot Program (GBIP) and a food waste program the City is working on with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Food waste is one of the world’s greatest greenhouse gas emitters. 

These are impressive and laudable commitments to our climate, our future generations, and our citizens. We are grateful for the recognition of the emergency we are in and the commitments to take action. Environmental organizations will now be setting their eyes on the Orlando Utilities Commission in expectation for them to live up to the goals of this Resolution. The time to end dependence on water and air polluting fossil fuels is now, and that includes all fracked gas infrastructure. Fortunately renewable energy sources like wind and solar are now less expensive than fracked gas, while also providing opportunities for significant savings for citizens into the future. 

CLEO is thankful to the many environmental organizations and people who have helped support this effort in Orlando. The Resolution was presented to the Council by Christy Folk, Caroline Chomanics and Nicole Moreno Taborda, leaders of our GenCLEO youth advocacy group. John Martinez & Kathryn Perrotta, third grade teachers from Millenia Gardens Elementary, helped gather students to support the Declaration during a meeting with the Mayor convened by us. Ten of the Eco Club Students wrote moving letters and two students read the letters on video for the Commissioners. Christy Folk also created a beautifully moving parody video for Buddy Dyer called “Dear Mayor Dyer” currently available on YouTube. 

The Declaration was endorsed and supported by Fridays For the Future, Eco Earth Friends, IDEAS’s for US, Solar United Neighbors, Alianza for Progress, The Sierra Club, League of Women Voters of Orange County, Orange County NAACP and National Congress of Black Women. 

About The CLEO Institute

Founded in 2010, The CLEO Institute (CLEO) exists for the sole purpose of building climate literacy and spurring climate action. As the only nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Florida that is exclusively dedicated to climate change education and engagement, CLEO is viewed as the go-to regional source for credible, vetted climate science and expert insights into a variety of fields impacted by climate. The CLEO Institute is a 501(c)(3) working with communities across Florida to build climate literacy and mobilize climate action for a resilient future. Learn more at

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