Miami has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a hub for the companies and jobs of the future: green jobs, blue jobs, and other resilience-related jobs that we haven’t even imagined yet.
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Overview: Why addressing climate change presents a historic business opportunity
… and 13 organizations
Why it matters
As the world transitions to a net zero economy, climate-focused business will result in countless new industries, businesses and jobs ,
Several countries, including the United States, have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, that date scientists have identified as the time when the planet must reach net zero — or warm to dangerously high levels.
Carbon neutrality will drive trillions in investment into clean tech and sustainable businesses, which are already seeing market demand. Venture capital investments in climate tech this year may reach $60 billion, up from $36 billion a year ago. It’s flowing into ideas such as electric airliners, carbon capture devices, and actuarial software that models climate risk to real estate.
The transition to green jobs presents the opportunity for greater social mobility, as many so-called “green collar” jobs pay well but don’t require a college degree.
In his most recent book, Bill Gates predicts that the places “that build great zero-carbon companies and industries will be the ones that lead the global economy in the coming decade.” Miami can be one of these places.
Where we are now
South Florida community leaders are pledging to achieve carbon neutrality.
This year, Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach all made commitments to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
In April, Miami-Dade Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the U.S., pledged to switch to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.
Climate tech efforts in Miami are nascent but underway. Seaworthy Collective, founded in 2020, is supporting entrepreneurs focused on the oceans and blue economy. Starlight Ventures, based in Miami, is a $50 million venture firm focused on solving humanity’s greatest challenges, including achieving net zero. Mission One Capital, a new Miami-based venture focused on sustainability, recently launched in Miami.
By the numbers
The pandemic has highlighted the strength of "green jobs" — jobs that move companies and our community toward sustainability. The growth of green jobs, especially compared to the change in available jobs in traditional industries, underscores that green jobs will lay the groundwork for the future.
Urban Land Institute’s “Business case for resilience in Southeast Florida” report lays out the business case to make investments in resilient infrastructure, which could lead to $55 billion in economic benefits by 2070. In September, the City of Miami published a report focused on growing Miami’s Green Economy.
There are several reports from local officials to explore: 100 Resilient Cities’s Resilient 305 report highlights findings from a multi-year effort to understand resiliency in the county; the City of Miami’s Miami Forever Climate Ready plan synthesizes the role that local stakeholders can take to collaborate on climate change issues; and Miami-Dade County’s Sea Level Rise Strategy report explores how the community can strategically adapt to rising sea levels.
Take a deep dive into the issue with these stories and soundbites:
Earlier this year, on Earth Day, South Florida’s big governments committed to going carbon neutral by 2050 — a year when the region’s on track to see more than a foot of sea level rise. The Miami Herald’s Alex Harris shares more. (Note: this story is behind a paywall).
This year, the City of Miami Beach joined the UN’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, shares the UN’s Race to Zero campaign. Pushing back on climate change could have serious financial implications for the region, which could suffer more than $3 billion of property loss without efforts to reduce the threat.
Despite a recognition by most Americans that climate change is a problem, there’s a big gap between what people say they’d do and what they’re actually doing, shares Axios.
Bill Gates wants people to take away one thing from his climate book: it’s time to lower Green Premiums, or the difference between a product that emits carbon and an alternative that doesn’t.
Abundance in a zero-emissions world means valuing the nature that sustains and protects us, say Michael Bloomberg, Saleemul Huq, and Agnes Kalibata, three global ambassadors for the UN’s Race to Zero campaigns.
Wall street giants and corporate titans are betting on climate innovation and pouring billions into the business of decarbonization, says The Economist — and the level of innovation and investments should only grow from here. (Note:this story is behind a paywall).
At Opportunity Miami, we’re focused on exploring — with you — answers to questions defining Miami’s economic future. This is a work in progress. Each day we’ll add new elements through an iterative, build-it-together process to find clear, actionable solutions.
But it starts with asking the right questions. Below are some we’re thinking about. We plan to take a deep dive into a new question each month.
How do we make Miami a place where great climate tech companies are built?
How do we achieve carbon-free mobility and drive economic growth?
How can Miami make itself a “blue economy” leader?
How do we turn real estate development green in Miami and create new jobs?
What does climate gentrification look like in Miami, and what policies can prevent it?
We’d also love to hear what’s on your mind. Let us know by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.