By Jacqueline Quynh

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County is at the forefront of fighting climate change.

“We’re always at the cutting edge because we’re always at the most at risk,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

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Part of the discussion Mayor Levine Cava is sharing with other leaders at COP26 this year is no longer what will happen with climate change, but what has been happening locally.

“We actually have the most assets at risk of any place on the planet,” she said.

She’s at the COP26 conference working with other world leaders to reduce emissions to zero by 2050. It’s an ambitious goal to help keep the earth’s temperature rising only 1.5 degrees more by the end of the century.

“So what happens is if you get a rise in the sea level you can get 10 times more flooding,” UM Professor of Oceanography Dr. Lisa Beal said.

She’s been studying how much the sea level has risen, it’s been by a foot over the last century.

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“And we’ve been measuring off our dock right here at the Rosenthiel School for the last 30 years and what we’ve seen is that the rate of sea-level rise over the last 30 years has doubled.”

Beal wants people to know the evidence that the local area has been impacted is observable.

“Carbon and methane is what they’re talking about at COP26 today, we’re realizing now that methane is becoming a larger part of the problem.”

These are the gases leaders are pledging to minimize.

“We’re often the canary in the coal mine,” Mayor Levine Cava added.

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However, changes take time, and South Florida continues to be impacted by the impacts of climate change from past decades.

Jacqueline Quynh