'Green Jobs for Florida' Delegation Travels to Copenhagen for World Climate Change Meeting
A diverse group of 25 Florida leaders being sponsored by Ceres announced they will travel to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, as members of a Green Jobs for Florida delegation.
The Copenhagen conference, occurring Dec. 7‐18, is the most important negotiation between the world’s nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions. More than 150 nations ‐‐ and 50 heads of state ‐‐ are scheduled to attend. President Barack Obama will participate on Dec. 9 (For more information on the UN conference see:http://www.epa.ie/whatwedo/climate/copenhagen/).
The Green Jobs for Florida delegation holds official observer status at the conference, meaning that the Floridians will have access to the conference negotiating sessions. The delegation will also meet with representatives and policy officials from Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, and Queensland (the Sunshine State of Australia). The Florida group will also confer with delegations from Alaska, California, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Many low‐carbon and renewable energy business negotiations will occur in Copenhagen. Florida’s delegates will share their experiences in industries including forestry, finance, renewable energy and biotechnology. They will also meet trade and investment partners and public officials, seeking to attract business, capital, and jobs to the Sunshine State.
“These forward‐thinking Florida business leaders understand that greening the economy means green for their bottom lines,” said Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, whose Boston‐based group is sponsoring the Florida trade mission as part of its formal delegation. “The global transition to a clean energy economy is a tremendous opportunity to create millions of jobs, safeguard our health and build sustainable prosperity and energy security. By going to Copenhagen, these businesses will help ensure that Florida is on the vanguard of the emerging clean energy economy.”
A recent analysis from the University of California, University of Illinois and Yale University shows that strong climate and energy policies from the US Congress would create up to 78,000 jobs in Florida over the next 10 years and grow the state economy by as much as $4.8 billion.
The Green Jobs for Florida delegation is composed of representatives of public and business interests across Florida. Those attending today’s press conference included:
- Dr. Zoa Hough‐Maguire, Managing Partner of Algae Systems, LLC, establishing operations in Tampa (delegate);
- Rob Szumowski, Vice President of The North Highland Company and Highland Worldwide, located in Tallahassee; (delegate);
- Thorbjorn Hansen, Vice President of Operations, Danfoss Turbocor, located in Tallahassee;
- Keith Allan, Her Majesty’s Consul General to Florida of Miami and;
- Ken Cooksey, Field Representative, Enterprise Florida
Public officials who are members of the Green Jobs for Florida delegation include:
- Pegeen Hanrahan, Mayor of Gainesville, Florida (board member of the Local Governments for Sustainability (a nonprofit with 600 US members including 27 cities and counties in Florida))
- Bob Dallari, Chairman, Seminole County Commission
- Harvey Ruvin, Clerk of Courts, Miami Dade County (founding board member of Local Governments for Sustainability, Global Council)
Florida’s economy of the future will be shaped by the events and the officials in Copenhagen, said Kathy Baughman McLeod, director of the Public Policy Group at Bryant Miller Olive PA and the organizer of the Green Jobs for Florida delegation. The members of the Florida delegation have worked to advance business, investment and technology in the new economy and employ thousands of Floridians, and are prepared to employ thousands more.
Others participating in the delegation are:
- Kathleen Shanahan, Chairman and CEO of WRScompass, Tampa. With nearly 25 years of experience, WRScompass is uniquely positioned to “re‐green” the lands of Florida’s private and public sector customers. Through the company’s innovate cleanNgreen Construction Upgrade, it has established an industry‐leading approach to achieving measured reductions to a company’s carbon footprint while achieving net environmental benefit. WRScompass employs nearly 270 Floridians and 750 people nationwide.
- Dr. Zoa Hough‐Maguire, Managing Partner, Algae Systems. Algae Systems is emerging as a cutting edge renewable energy company with the promise of long‐term, high wage Florida jobs and a technology that produces carbon‐negative diesel and jet fuel from sewage and CO2. Their NASA‐developed technology is a low‐cost and low‐tech method to grow algae that in turn converts wastewater and CO2 into biomass and oxygen.
- Olaf Roed, President & CEO, Green Circle Bio Energy, Inc., Cottondale. Green Circle Bio Energy, Inc., a relatively new company established in 2006, is a producer of biomass based renewable energy, operating in the international market for carbon neutral energy. The company’s wood pellet plant is the largest one in the world, with an annual production capacity of 500,000 metric tons. Green Circle is planning to build more wood pellet plants in the US South East over the next few years. The use of wood pellets made from pine wood grown in Southeastern U.S. as a renewable energy source reduces the emissions of harmful climate gases from fossil fuels. The firm employs 75 people.
The announcement was made today on Danfoss Turbocor’s production floor in Tallahassee. The Tallahassee‐based company designs and installs the first completely oil‐free compressors, specifically designed for the heating and air conditioning industry. According to Danfoss Turbocor, the company’s currently installed base of compressors are reducing carbon emissions by more than 4.4 million tons per year, equivalent to removing approximately 400,000 passenger cars from roadways. Danfoss Turbocorʹs Tallahassee plant employs 161 people, and their parent company Danfoss located in Denmark employs close to 25,000 people worldwide.
“Danfoss Turbocor is proud to be a part of Florida’s growing clean and renewable energy economy ‐‐ and to host the Green Jobs for Florida Delegation to Copenhagen today ‐‐ and hopes they have a great visit with our Danish colleagues,” said Thorbjorn Hansen, Vice President of Operations for Danfoss Turbocor.
“Florida is an ideally positioned partner in business and investment in the interconnected global economy ‐‐ the State is already recognized nationally as one of the emerging leaders on low‐carbon economic development initiatives,” said Manny Mencia, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Florida.
Florida promotes the use of solar energy, is a global leader in rooftop solar water heating installations, and has extensive renewable energy initiatives. Florida is also home to the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the nation’s largest solar photovoltaic plant. The Florida delegation will take this message to a wide variety of world leaders in Copenhagen.
The Green Jobs for Florida delegation is led by Bryant Miller Olive’s Public Policy Group. Several of their meetings at the conference are hosted by Enterprise Florida. The Delegation’s observer status in Copenhagen has been arranged through Ceres, a nonprofit organization working to increase corporate sustainably around the world. All participation of all of the Florida delegates is self‐funded and not paid for by any public entity.
Bryant Miller Olive is a longstanding, 40 year‐old statewide Florida law firm with offices in every major city in Florida, and in Washington. The firm has proven experience in advising companies and governments as they transition into this new economy. The BMO Public Policy Group excels in developing solution to keep companies well ahead of the curve in the dynamic and complex maze of the business landscape. The Public Policy Group prides itself on its successes in leading strategic business and investment development within the State of Florida.