Southwest Florida represented during global climate change meeting

Published: November 1, 2021 3:45 PM EDT
Updated: November 1, 2021 7:25 PM EDT

Leaders around the world are currently in Glasgow, Scotland to tackle climate change. Even Southwest Florida is being represented at this meeting.

The Collier County Waterkeeper has made climate change one of his top priorities and now he’s speaking out about how to protect Florida.

KC Schulberg is the Collier County Waterkeeper. “Whether you want to talk about sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, flooding, precipitation events, warming of our waters we’re on the frontlines of everything,” Schulberg said.

Schulberg and his colleagues are just a few of the people who are leading the charge to slow the effects of climate change. “We’re at a critical moment, you know, we have to either fix, start to fix this, turn the degradation around or we’ll, we’ll all be toast,” said Schulberg.

One of the larger goals the team has is to cut down on carbon emissions. Other goals include protecting and restoring ecosystems and providing the money to do so.

“We’re trying to hold the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. That will be challenging. If we’re on the present track, we will increase by three degrees Celsius within the next 30 years, which would be absolutely catastrophic,” said Schulberg.

To slow down carbon emissions, Southwest Florida needs to do its part. “There are some small things we can do at home. You know, there’s all kinds of recycling issues and planting Florida native plants.” He went on to say, “But this is such a global issue that really, it’s going to be more important to elect officials who are informed and energized about the climate change issue.”

If things don’t change soon, one side effect of more extreme weather including hurricanes. “Let’s see how this plays out. I hope it isn’t just platitudes and promises and hope we really dig in and get some action because we have to meet this moment, there’s a really extreme urgency to start solving these problems,” said Schulberg.

Schulberg and his group will stream daily updates from the conference on the Collier County Waterkeeper Facebook Page.