CFO Alex Sink photo

Volume 4 Number 14
April 6, 2007

CFO SINK AND COMMISSIONER BRONSON ANNOUNCE “CONVERSATIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE” WEB SITE

Floridians can log on to www.floridaclimatechange.com for more information.

 
The first of four half-day “Conversations on Climate Change” initiated by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charles Bronson was held in Tallahassee this week with serious discussions about the effects of climate change in Florida.

The official website for Florida Climate Change is now online. By logging onto www.floridaclimatechange.com, Floridians can learn about climate change, watch a video of Tuesday’s workshop, review the speakers' presentations and read about initiatives in other states.

 
“Conversations on Climate Change” is a series of four half-day Cabinet workshops that focus on climate change, how Florida’s economy is affected by changes in climate and the need to expand renewable energy sources. 
 
“Climate change is a reality, and we need to learn as much as we can about the potential impact on our state’s financial health,” said CFO Sink. “As a government official concerned about Florida’s economy, I am focused on protecting the vitality of our financial and insurance markets.”
 
Commissioner Bronson launched Florida’s “Farm to Fuel” program, which partners with “25x25,” the national bi-partisan organization whose goal is to see U.S. agriculture produce 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs by the year 2025.  “It is my hope that these discussions will inform the people of Florida of the importance of renewable energy production in Florida,” said Commissioner Bronson.  “With the amount of renewable energy sources in our state, we should strive to be a national leader in this emerging industry.”
 
“Conversations on Climate Change” was held on Tuesday, April 3, 2007with “Climate Change: An Overview.”  Future workshops are scheduled after the June 12, September 18, and November 14, 2007, Florida Cabinet meetings.  Each workshop will feature a new topic and national experts in areas such as: the science of rising sea levels, renewable energy sources, the impact of climate change on the insurance and financial industries, and more.  The sessions will also give elected officials, business leaders and Floridians the opportunity to understand how these challenges and potential solutions present opportunities for the growth of new industries in our state.

Special guest former New York Governor George Pataki, who made the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority in his administration, is planning to participate in the June workshop with other experts.  Former Governor Pataki has been nationally recognized for his leadership on increasing awareness of climate change among the Northeastern states.

The workshop “Climate Change: An Overview” featured the following discussions:
 
• From the Tree Tops- A High-Level View of Our Climate: Margaret Lowman, Ph.D., Director of Environmental Initiatives, New College of Florida
• Florida’s Future and the Science of Climate Change: Stephen Mulkey, Ph.D., Science Advisor, Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida
• Florida’s Beaches and Sea Level Rise: Stephen Leatherman, Ph.D., Director of the International Hurricane Research Center and Coastal Research Laboratory at Florida International University
• An Insurance Perspective on Climate Risk: Tim Wagner, Nebraska Insurance Commissioner and Director of the U.S. National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
• Clean Energy Investments: Kenneth Locklin, Clean Energy Group
• International Relationship - Carbon and the UK: Keith Allan, British Consulate-General
• Farm to Fuel- Opportunity in Renewables: Mike Bowman, Farm to Fuel