Envisioning Florida’s Clean Energy Revolution Beyond Carbon

A report by The Nature Conservancy highlights the benefits of decarbonization in the Sunshine State while charting a path for economic growth. VoLo Foundation contributed to funding the study 

By Carlos Roa 

In a groundbreaking move to a greener and more wealthy future, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has released a pioneering economic study titled “Economic Benefits of Decarbonization in Florida.”  

VoLo Foundation provided financial support for the research. Other generous contributions to fund this groundbreaking project came from the Jane’s Trust Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Wells Fargo Foundation.   

The report was produced in collaboration with AECOM, Cambridge Econometrics, and a Technical Advisory Committee. It examines the potential impacts of decarbonizing Florida’s economy, focusing on two key scenarios: achieving a net-zero power grid by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.  

The publication emphasizes the importance of collaboration among government bodies, businesses, and partners to unleash the full potential of decarbonization in the state. It was formulated over a two-year period. 

The findings highlight a landscape of economic opportunities that decarbonization can bring to the Sunshine State. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions across various sectors including manufacturing, transport, and energy, Florida can experience significant growth in employment and economic prosperity.  

The transition to a decarbonized economy is expected to create higher-paying jobs across a range of sectors, providing opportunities for workers of all skill levels and education backgrounds while reducing consumer costs. 

The study concludes that investment in a Net Zero Economy results in a state economy nearly 2% larger than the reference economy by 2050. Reduced spending on electricity and private transportation will allow consumers to redirect spending to other sectors, supporting economic growth.  

Greg Knecht, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in the state, emphasized the importance of the report’s findings, stating, “Decarbonizing Florida’s economy will ultimately position the Sunshine State to continue to grow as a hub of innovation and technological advancement, enhancing the quality of life and economic prospects for Floridians.” 

Key Highlights From the Report  

The creation of employment and workforce development resulting from decarbonization is projected to generate higher-paying jobs across various sectors, including electricity, construction, and transportation, among others. The demand for specific skills such as installation, mechanical expertise, programming, and design is anticipated to drive job growth in these areas.   

Consumer energy savings from a decarbonized economy are expected to translate into cost reductions, primarily in electricity and private transportation. These savings will enable consumers and businesses to redirect spending toward other sectors, boosting economic growth and creating greater prosperity. 

With its abundant sunshine and existing clean energy infrastructure, Florida is uniquely positioned to benefit from decarbonization efforts. The state has substantial expertise in sectors poised to thrive with decarbonization, such as solar energy and electric vehicles. Moving toward this goal will solidify Florida’s position as a leader in innovation and sustainability.   

Lynetta Usher Griner, Secretary and Treasurer of Usher Land & Timber Inc. and member of the report’s Technical Advisory Committee expressed optimism about the state’s future, stating, “Florida’s future is bright, and our state continues to be a profitable place to do business, especially as we advance clean energy markets and infrastructure.” 

As the state charts a course towards a decarbonized future, the Economic Benefits of Decarbonization in Florida report serves as a guide, showing the path leading to economic growth, sustainability, and prosperity for Floridians. 

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