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Can you solve climate change without the business community? South Florida says no


As South Florida’s coastlines creep ever inward with no major ... It makes economic sense,” said Alan Ojeda, owner and chief executive officer of real estate company Rilea Group. His firm built one of the first office buildings in Miami certified ...


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Broward County Mayor Beam Furr symbolically signs the Southeast Florida Climate Compact agreement on Thursday, Dec14 to collaborate with the business community of the region to research, lobby for and enact solutions to climate change Alex Harris aharris@miamiherald.com Broward County Mayor Beam Furr symbolically signs the Southeast Florida Climate Compact agreement on Thursday, Dec14 to collaborate with the business community of the region to research, lobby for and enact solutions to climate change Alex Harris aharris@miamiherald.com setLeadImageSize(); $(window).resize(function() { var clientWidth = Math.max(document.documentElement.clientWidth, window.innerWidth || 0); if (clientWidth > 767) { $('.lead-item').find('.caption').hide(); $('.lead-item .lead-caption').show(); } else { $('.lead-item .lead-caption').hide(); } setLeadImageSize(); }); $('.lead-item img').click(function(){ var elemWidth = Math.max(document.documentElement.clientWidth, window.innerWidth || 0); if(elemWidth = scrollEndPos || windowCurrentPos Local leaders from the counties along the coast most vulnerable to sea level rise have worked together since 2012 to share research and case studies on the imminent threat of climate change in a group called the Southeast Florida Climate Change CompactThis year, at their ninth annual conference, the compact moved beyond pumps to keeps streets dry and talked about a new kind of resilience — economic. If the predicted changes — higher temperatures, rising seas and stronger storms — are left unchecked, it could have serious consequences for Florida’s financial futureParticularly in a state that’s dependent on the tourism industry that studs its shores “Business understands that they will be affected if fewer people come to Florida because our beaches lose the international reputation,” U.SRepDebbie Wasserman Schultz told the crowd of around 700“We can’t stick our heads in the ever-eroding sands.” (function() { var randomUrl = getRandomUrl('http://x.email.miamiherald.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=218'); var eventMethod = window.addEventListener ? "addEventListener" : "attachEvent"; var eventer = window[eventMethod]; var messageEvent = eventMethod == "attachEvent" ? "onmessage" : "message"; $("", { "class" : "col-xs-12", "src" : randomUrl, "scrolling" : "no", "frameborder" : "no" }).appendTo("#newsletter-signUpWidget"); eventer(messageEvent, function(e) { if (randomUrl.indexOf(e.origin) != -1 ) { var key = e.message ? "message" : "data"; var data = JSON.parse(e[key]); switch(data.messageid) { case 100: var signupevent = new CustomEvent( 'signup', {"detail": data} ); window.dispatchEvent( signupevent ); break; case 200: $('#newsletter-signUpWidget iframe').css('height', data.iframe.height); break; } } }, false ); })(); Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. SUBSCRIBE NOW In this new agreement, the economic development community of southeast Florida will work with the compact to market the financial case for resilienceThis could, they hope, turn the region into a hub for innovation and economic activity related to keeping South Floridians above sea level. Buildings that withstand hurricane-force winds, stay above the water level decades down the road and cut costs by saving energy are a worthy way to protect an investment, business leaders argued. “It makes senseIt makes economic sense,” said Alan Ojeda, owner and chief executive officer of real estate company Rilea GroupHis firm built one of the first office buildings in Miami certified Gold by LEED, an environmental rating agencyThe building filled up faster than any of its neighbors, he said. “When you put the champagne glasses on top of the others and you pour and it fills all of them? That’s what happened,” he said“Everyone wanted to be in a green building.” That extra money from the private sector is important in a state led by politicians who have not made adapting to climate change a priorityWith the money and influence of the business community behind them, compact leaders hope their voice will be louder in Tallahassee and they’ll see more accomplishments. In the last several years, the compact, which covers Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, has most notably created a unified prediction for sea-level rise in the region and a five-year plan to address the consequences of climate changeThe plan includes dozens of nonbinding suggestions for how cities or counties can take positive steps toward a more resilient future. On Thursday, the group presented its second five-year plan, called the Regional Climate Action Plan or RCAP 2.0Besides looping in businesses, the new plan includes a heightened focus on public health and community equity The pivot seemed to be a turn to reality — the real effects of these proposed solutions on the communities and the real ways to get them fundedFor the latter, leaders see the business community as part of the solution “You’re starting to see, in everything we deal with, now this has become part of the conversation, and it wasn’t part of the conversation before,” said Broward County Mayor Beam Furr“That is a major step forward.” !function(){var TOUT=window.TOUT=window.TOUT||{},utils={getCanonicalLinkHref:function(){for(var links=document.getElementsByTagName("link"),i=0;i-1}}}(); !function(){var TOUT=window.TOUT=window.TOUT||{};if(console&&console.log&&console.log("Tout SDK: "+ +new Date),!TOUT._sdkScriptTagParsedAt){TOUT._sdkScriptTagParsedAt=new 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Florida aims to find out After snake-killing successes, Florida python patrol gets more money

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