As climate impacts have become more apparent in Southeast Florida over the past decade, there is growing awareness that regional collaborative efforts must expand to include a greater degree of partnership between governments and the private sector to protect the region’s economy. Proactive efforts to address climate change — both in building resilience and reducing emissions — represent specific economic development opportunities for the region, while also serving to preserve and enhance existing businesses and industries critical to a diverse economic base. Protecting and expanding regional prosperity is an equal to and integrated goal with protecting natural resources, infrastructure and quality of life for all who live, work and play in Southeast Florida. Efforts to address climate change and advance resilience present a significant opportunity to build a diverse regional economy that works for everyone. Through intentional workforce development strategies, we can prepare our economy for the creation of new green jobs and springboard the region as a leader in the climate tech space.
It is incumbent upon local governments, the private sector and the economic development community to work together to seize the opportunity presented by this economic transformation and to advance strategies that bolster the regional economy’s resilience in the face of increasing climate-related shocks and stressors. Pooling shared expertise to continue to build the business case for resilience investments across Southeast Florida, and advocating collectively for appropriate investments in the region by state and federal governments are critical near-term efforts toward this aim.