VP Harris to speak at Aspen Ideas: Climate in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Vice President Kamala Harris is coming back to South Florida to talk about climate action.

On Wednesday, she will join Gloria Estefan and over 300 speakers in town for Aspen Ideas: Climate at the New World Center in Miami Beach.

The global non-profit Aspen Institute is hosting the second annual conference beginning Monday.

“Here in South Florida, there’s tremendous energy and unity towards climate solutions,” said Daniel Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

The world’s most ambitious climate problem solvers are coming together to address the pressing challenges our natural world is facing.

“There’s a lot of goals for climate change. What the world needs now is a plan,” said John Doerr, Chairman of Kleiner Perkins.

Miami Beach is widely considered ground zero and already experiencing the impacts of ever-increasing global temperatures.

“We are being impacted by a warming climate--all of us here in Miami-Dade, in the state of Florida in the planet for that matter, but we are ground zero for rising seas,” said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Exec. Director of the Cleo Insititute. “This is affecting our daily lives and so, we need to be engaged.”

It’s not just risings seas we have to face but record-breaking deadly heat and it’s about to get worse.

“For everyone out there, this climate change and the heat is impacting all of us, especially those who are suffering now,” said Dr. Cheryl Holder, President of Florida State Medical Association, co-chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action.

On average here in South Florida, we’ve been experiencing early increases of 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1985 with heat indices reaching 105 degrees seven days out of the year. Over the next 30 years, that number will jump to 88 days a year.

“Extreme heat is the number one killer, not only here in Miami Dade, but globally,” Miami-Dade Chief Heat Officer Jane Gilbert.

The outlook is daunting, but the spirit of Aspen Ideas is one of hope and optimism with conversations sharing innovations, science and policies that can help us meet this critical inflection point.

“These are real problems that are surmountable. We can address them, but we have to know the solutions and have the will to do it. So, what Aspen is doing is bringing those solutions right to our doorstep,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

“We’ve still got time. We all have to work together. There’s no reason why we can’t make great progress quickly. We’ve still got time,” said Porterfield.

Aspen Ideas: Climate is open to the public. Everyone is not just invited but encouraged to be part of the conversation because we all must be part of the solution.

You can buy tickets to attend in person or live stream the event anywhere for free and there are all kinds of events and activities happening during the days of the conference.

For more information on the Aspen Ideas: Climate event schedule and how to attend, click here.

About the Author:

Louis Aguirre is an Emmy-award winning journalist who anchors weekday newscasts and serves as WPLG Local 10’s Environmental Advocate.