MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Big names with big influence are part of a climate conference this week in Miami Beach.
“This is God‘s creation and what are we doing,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
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Pelosi was among the participants at the inaugural Aspen Climate Change Conference on Miami Beach. Another prominent attendee is Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava who said the issues being discussed are especially important to South Florida
“We are ground zero for climate change and sea-level rise, it’s totally fitting that Aspen would come to Miami Beach,“ said Levine Cava.
The goal of the event isn’t just to talk about the problem but to come up with solutions. Native American Cheyenne Kippenberger, a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and former Miss Indian World, said she’s seen the impact of climate change firsthand.
“We’ve seen the Everglades be neglected and poisoned and it’s polluted. I’ve seen development take over the place I called home and more than anything it’s changed every relationship that we have with the land,” said Kippenberger, who was among the more than a thousand people who are taking part in the four-day event.
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“The entire state of the environment is on the line so this is not just an indigenous or native people issue. This is a humanity issue where everyone needs to come together and be part of the solutions, she added.
Miami resident Ashley Suarez-Burgos shared her concerns.
“Our city sees the impacts of climate change on a daily and I feel like for us, because we’re right on the coast, it’s really exciting to see that there’s a lot of politicians and scientists coming together and corporations to actually make a change,” said Suarez-Burgos.
Her sentiments were echoed by Pelosi
“It’s a health issue, it’s a job issue, it’s a national security issue, and it’s a values issue, so much falls under the climate issue and we have to get something done,” she said.
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For those interested, they can watch the live stream of the event at aspenideas.org/.