Aggressive policies to curb global warming would spur substantial job and economic growth in Florida, according to a comprehensive new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) study released today at a Miami press conference by Harvey Ruvin, Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts, Adam Markham of the World Wildlife Fund, and other experts. Based on extensive real-world data and expanded use of proven technology, the findings dispel notions that the climate treaty would damage our economy.
By using a mix of financial incentives, regulatory changes and market measures, Florida would save as much as $300 per person each year by 2010 and create 39,800 new jobs, according to research prepared for WWF by the Tellus Institute, a Boston based non-profit research and consulting organization that works on energy and environmental issues. The policies would double the emission cuts specified in the Kyoto climate treaty to 14 percent below 1990 levels.
Growing evidence suggests the impacts of global warming would be severe in Florida; sea-level rise, severe storms and higher temperatures would threaten sensitive marine and terrestrial ecosystems, human health and the State's economy. Fortunately, there are promising resources, technologies and practices that can be mobilized to meet the challenge of climate change by implementing effective policies and measures.
"Florida has unique opportunities to contribute to and benefit from policies that avert climate change, owing to its geographic location and the character of its economy," said Harvey Ruvin, Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts.
New results come from a mix of policies designed to drive innovation in energy resources and technology, including: incentives for efficient vehicles and equipment; elimination of regulatory impediments; new efficiency standards for buildings, cars and other gear; enhanced R&D; and improvements in land-use and infrastructure. The measures also entail tax reform and reductions in subsidies to polluters.
"This research shows that environmental protection and economic growth are fully compatible," said Adam Markham of the World Wildlife Fund. "With smart policies, climate protection even stands to become an economic engine, unleashing entrepreneurial creativity on a problem that threatens huge economic and environmental costs."
The economic boon comes mostly from money savings cuts in energy and energy-using equipment. In Florida, these policies would reduce global warming pollution by more than a third. Measures outlined in the report would also bring major cuts in other pollution with substantial health impacts for many Americans.
An important key is capturing the energy power plants now throw away as waste heat, through a process called cogeneration which can use that energy for heating and even air conditioning. The scenario also envisions sharp increases in renewable energy including wind, solar and biofuels made from plants, as well as a carbon cap that would yield a significant reduction in the use of highly polluting coal.
Diverse Economic and Environmental Benefits For Florida
"The job and economic growth results from investment in efficient lighting, building and transportation technology," said Steve Bernow of the Tellus Institute. "This creates jobs and income not only for companies producing that equipment, but also the businesses and workers who supply them."
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