The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report says that a mix of financial incentives, regulatory changes and market measures could help Florida save as much as $300 per person each year by 2010, providing $17Bn for the state’s economy and creating 26,800 new jobs.

The policies would double the emission cuts specified in the Kyoto climate treaty to 14 percent below 1990 levels.

Although the report says Florida could suffer from sea level rises, severe storms and higher temperatures as a result of climate change, policies and measures could be implemented to control or prevent such problems. “Florida has unique opportunities to contribute to and benefit from policies that avert climate change, owing to its geographic location and the character of its economy,” said Harvey Ruvin, Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts.

The report says that cuts in energy and energy-using equipment would save money while reducing greenhouse gases by more than a third. Measures outlined in the report would also bring major cuts in other forms of pollution as well as health improvements.

Policies would be needed to drive innovation in environmental technology. These include: incentives for efficient vehicles and equipment; elimination of regulatory impediments; new efficiency standards for buildings, cars and other gear; enhanced R&D; and improvements in land-use and infrastructure. The measures would also entail tax reform and reductions in subsidies to polluters.

“This research shows that environmental protection and economic growth are fully compatible,” said Adam Markham of the WWF. “With smart policies, climate protection even stands to become an economic engine, unleashing entrepreneurial creativity on a problem that threatens huge economic and environmental costs.”

The report adds that cogeneration will be essential if power stations are to conserve energy wasted in the form of heat. Sharp increases in renewable energy are also envisaged as well as a carbon cap on the use of coal.

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