Florida Governor Talks Climate With Prince of Wales

LONDON, UK, July 16, 2008 (ENS) – Florida Governor Charlie Crist today met with the Prince of Wales to discuss strategies for addressing global climate change, particularly reducing the impacts of deforestation. They met at Clarence House in London. Governor Crist also met with the Duke of York, Prince Andrew.

“I am deeply grateful to the Prince of Wales and the United Kingdom for working together with Florida to exchange knowledge and expertise to reduce the harmful effects of greenhouse gases,” said Governor Crist. “I look forward to our continued and expanding partnership to learn more about increasing our use of renewable energy and decreasing our carbon emissions.”

Prince Charles has provided leadership for the United Kingdom to partner in Florida’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and direct a cleaner energy future, the Governor’s Office said in a statement.

During the 2008 Florida Summit on Global Climate Change held in Miami last month, the prince addressed business, government and environmental leaders by video and emphasized the effects of deforestation as the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

At the first Florida Summit on Global Climate Change in 2007, Governor Crist signed a memorandum of understanding partnering with the United Kingdom to promote initiatives that broaden the Kyoto Protocol and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases beyond 2012.

The memorandum provides for the State of Florida to exchange delegations with the United Kingdom to create a forum for sharing public policy experience and exchanging science and technology, placing a particular emphasis on the sharing of ideas and policies related to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

Today’s meeting is part of the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission to the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain to encourage trade and investment in Florida and its international partners with a focus on aerospace, aviation and alternative energy.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist at
the Farnborough Air Show views
helicopter parts manufactured in
Orlando. (Photo courtesy Office
of the Governor)

The Florida delegation Tuesday visited the 60th anniversary Farnborough Air Show, organized by the Society of British Aerospace Companies where they opened the Florida Pavilion.

Florida and the UK enjoy strong economic ties, with two-way merchandise trade valued at $2.8 billion, making the UK Florida’s 13th largest trading partner.

In total, British-affiliated companies employ more Floridians than companies from any other foreign country, with 335 subsidiaries employing more than 41,000.

In terms of tourism, the United Kingdom is Florida’s top overseas tourism market, with 1.34 million United Kingdom arrivals for 2006. On average, travelers from the UK spend nearly two weeks in Florida, with 72.5 percent traveling to Orlando, 15.3 percent to Miami and 12.5 percent to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

During the remainder of the United Kingdom portion of the Florida trade trip, the governor will meet with Environment Minister Phil Woolas and participate in a Visit Florida marketing campaign kick-off.

In France, he will meet with senior government officials, visit a nuclear facility, and visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Then, the governor will travel to Russia to meet with government and business leaders to promote Florida-Russia economic relations.

Governor Crist then will visit Spain, meeting with government officials and private sector representatives to discuss Florida-Spain trade and investment, and visit the world’s largest photovoltaic solar facility. With an installed peak power of 23 megawatts, the solar park at Jumilla, Murcia in southeastern Spain is the world’s current highest capacity PV plant and the most efficient to date.

Coordinated by Enterprise Florida Inc., the Team Florida delegation includes business and government leaders, as well as representatives from economic development organizations and state research institutions. This will be the Governor’s third business development mission since taking office in 2007.

Most recently, last November the Governor led the largest single-state delegation to Brazil in United States history, which generated more than $300 million in actual and anticipated sales.

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