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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Changing Stance on Climate Change

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has shifted his stance on climate change from his earlier days as a self-proclaimed “green governor” to one of “active hostility” towards climate action. In the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, which devastated parts of Florida, DeSantis pushed back against linking natural disasters to climate change, despite scientific evidence suggesting that a warming planet can intensify hurricanes.

DeSantis, who once campaigned on environmental advocacy during his 2018 run for governor, created an office to address sea-level rise and initially received praise for his environmental efforts. However, his support for climate-related initiatives dwindled, and he began advocating for increased fossil fuel production and opposing electric vehicle adoption.

As DeSantis launched his presidential campaign, his stance on climate change became more hostile. He vetoed legislation that would have promoted electric cars and rejected funding for energy efficiency programs. DeSantis also took aim at Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing practices and pledged to roll back President Biden’s energy policies.

This shift reflects DeSantis’ strategy of aligning with conservative views within the GOP as he seeks to challenge former President Donald Trump from the right, even though it contrasts with his earlier image as a “green governor.”

The governor’s changing stance on climate change aligns with broader GOP sentiment, where some Republican voters do not consider climate change an important issue. However, younger voters and conservative environmental groups believe addressing climate change is crucial for the party’s future success.

As climate change continues to impact Florida, with hurricanes becoming more intense and frequent, DeSantis’ position on the issue may play a significant role in his political career and his presidential aspirations.

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