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For Immediate Release, July 12, 2012

Contact: Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809,

Miami Supports Clean Air Act, Joins Urgent Call for Climate-change Action 

Rising Seas and Storm Surges Threaten City's Infrastructure, Water Supply

MIAMI— As much of America swelters under record-breaking temperatures, Miami has joined 30 other U.S. cities in supporting the use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change.

Through a July 12 resolution, Miami became the 31st city to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign, which urges national leaders to take action on global warming. Tampa approved a similar resolution May 3, and two other Florida cities have also joined the campaign.

“Miami will be ground zero for climate change’s most harmful effects, so we are calling on the federal government to use the Clean Air Act to protect coastal cities,” said Marc D. Sarnoff, vice-chairman of the City of Miami Commission. “We’re proud to join Tampa and more than two dozen other cities in urging the Environmental Protection Agency to act decisively to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. As sea levels rise, our future depends on getting this dangerous problem under control.”

“By passing this resolution, Miami highlights the terrible risk posed to Florida by the global climate crisis and supports one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Cities around the country, from Seattle to Tampa — and now Miami — are sending an urgent message to our national leaders. To avert a climate catastrophe, we need to act now.”

The first six months of 2012 were the hottest such period on record in the United States. Climate change is making severe heat waves far more likely, according to a new study by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

South Florida, with its low elevations and Hurricane Alley location, is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The state’s southeastern area could see a 2-foot sea-level rise by 2060, according to a 2011 report prepared for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. Rising seas and storm surges could flood homes, businesses and key infrastructure in coastal areas; they will damage beaches, coral reefs and other environmental treasures that sustain the state’s tourism industry.

Miami ranks number one in the world in terms of assets exposed to coastal flooding, according to a report from the European-led Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sea-level rise and storm-related flooding threaten power plants, airports, schools, hospitals and the Biscayne Aquifer, Miami’s main source of drinking water.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working with volunteers around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The resolutions call on President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to take swift action under the Clean Air Act to address climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Tampa and Pinecrest, Fla.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Chicago; Seattle, Wash.; Kansas City, Mo.; Albany, N.Y.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Cambridge, Mass.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and Los Angeles, Arcata, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica, Calif.; Eugene Oregon; and Teton County, Wyo. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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