In Southern Florida, the consequences of climate change are real. They threaten homes, businesses and are visible to residents throughout the region. In Miami, city and municipal leaders have been vocal critics of state and federal inaction, and have been racing to mitigate the effects of sea level rise in communities throughout the city. Recently, mitigation has transformed into opportunity. Now, businesses, in conjunction with local chambers of commerce and city leaders, are working together to capitalize on the opportunities presented by a changing climate.
Local action is taking on many different forms. Cities are implementing more strict building efficiency codes. Public-private partnerships are springing forward to prevent saltwater intrusion into freshwater supply and to protect the everglades. Infrastructure investments are being made to elevate roads, install pumping stations, and to retrofit and secure bridges throughout the region. These projects are just a taste of the multipronged effort to address climate change. Each of these efforts helps to put residents to work, and to ensure the safety and prosperity of local communities. Climate leadership starts in our communities, and Florida is leading the way. Find out what you can do in your city by visiting Path to Positive Communities.
MIAMI — The seas might be rising, but business continues to boom in South Florida, where local governments already plan to spend billions of dollars adapting to climate change.
The message was clear from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce on Friday, in a place where the environment is the economy: Learn not just how to live with water, but how to profit from it. The Sea Level Rise Solutions Conference came two days after scientists released a study showing that glacial melt in Antarctica could double previous estimates of sea-level rise if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated.
That sort of news hasn't always been welcome in Florida or Miami, said Irela Bagué, the public relations executive who organized the conference. But the reality is difficult to ignore, and Bagué, a Republican who was appointed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush (R) to the South Florida Water Management District, sees business opportunity as a potential silver lining of climate change and sea-level rise.
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