Despite the fact that Florida is the most vulnerable state in the nation to climate change, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has shied away from discussing the issue or his plans to address it.
On Tuesday morning, environmental groups delivered DeSantis a petition with more than 3,400 signatures asking him to acknowledge the threat and become "the Governor who saved our state."
"This is a nonpartisan issue that affects all Floridians. The Governor-elect has no choice but to make climate action a top priority. We are running out of time," Florida Conservation Voters Executive Director Aliki Moncrief said in a statement.
DeSantis did not specifically detail his potential plans for climate action, but said in a statement:
"The Governor-elect has always made clear he will take on the issues facing our state head on. That includes fighting for clean water, protecting Florida's coastlines and conserving our natural environment."
In previous press statements the Governor-elect has said he is unclear on the cause of climate change (the majority of scientists say it's from fossil fuels burned by humans), although he sees the effects and wants to address them.
"The sea rise may be because of human activity and the changing climate, maybe it is not, I do not know," he told Miami Herald news partner CBS4. "What I do know is I see the sea rising. I see the increase in flooding in South Florida. I think you would be a fool to not consider that is an issue we need to address."
In the letter, co-signed by Miami's CLEO Institute, Environment Florida and the Sierra Club, petitioners asked DeSantis to help Florida transition to renewable energy, protect the state's waterways, charge polluters and institute a "Florida Future Fund" to pay for resilient infrastructure.
— This story was written by Miami Herald staff writer Alex Harris.