NEW ORLEANS — This week, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is attending the Aspen Ideas: Climate Conference in Miami to participate as a panelist during three sessions focused on combating and developing solutions to climate change.
The Aspen Ideas conference is hosted in collaboration with the Aspen Institute, the City of Miami Beach and a diverse group of partner institutions, bringing global policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, young leaders and engaged members of the public together to discuss four essential themes: Resilient Communities, Climate-Smart Money, Clean Power, Bright Future, and Earth on Offense.
During the conference, Mayor Cantrell will discuss ways in which New Orleans is creating solutions that address climate challenges head-on, while offering insight on how other communities can transform through lessons learned.
“My attendance and participation as a panelist throughout this year’s conference speaks to the work we are doing locally in New Orleans,” said Mayor Cantrell. “As a low-lying, coastal city with a rapidly shrinking coastline and more frequent, severe storms, our city has been on the frontlines of climate change. We have truly learned how to ‘live with water,’ and as a result, New Orleans has become a national leader in building smart green infrastructure. We are seeing these investments pay off and are continuing to invest further in climate action, as well as climate change, by accelerating energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment, transitioning to more electric vehicles, and investing in climate-forward infrastructure and technologies. I look forward to attending this year’s conference alongside my brother and sister mayors, major cruise line executives and national leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and EPA Administrator Michael Regan, as we all work together to prepare for this uncertain and challenging future. The nation and world are watching New Orleans as we quickly become a model for how to build back as a more resilient city.”
On Tuesday, May 10, Mayor Cantrell will join Melissa Roberts, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the American Flood Coalition, and Dr. Toddi Steelman, moderator and Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, in a panel discussion titled, Facing the Floods with a Surge of Solutions. The panelists will address adapting to unprecedented flooding caused by sea-level rise, stronger hurricanes and more intense rainfall as some of the greatest challenges of the next decade and development of more innovative solutions to inequity, affordable housing and public trust in institutions.
During an afternoon session, Mayor Cantrell will join Scott Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of Generate Capital, Shannon Carroll, assistant vice president of Global Environmental Sustainability for AT&T, and Trenton Allen, moderator and U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board member, in a panel discussion titled, Climate Infrastructure: Build Back Better and Beyond. This panel will focus on the potential massive impact of climate change on American cities and the necessary action required to leverage federal resources and public-private sector partnerships to upgrade physical and natural infrastructure.
On Wednesday, May 11, Mayor Cantrell will share climate solutions undertaken in New Orleans while on the global stage during a plenary session panel discussion. She will be joined by Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland, Kathryn Murdoch, president of the Quadrivium Foundation, and several environmental professionals, activists and journalists to offer additional climate solutions and explore ideas on decarbonization.
Earlier today, Mayor Cantrell attended the Powering a Floating City tour at PortMiami with featured speakers Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County and Hydi Webb, director of PortMiami. Other speakers included Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., Arnold W. Donald, president and CEO of the Carnival Cruise Line, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, Tim Oliver, vice president of development of the Florida Power & Light Company, and Rick Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises.
PortMiami is one of America’s fastest-growing gateways that contributes more than $43 billion annually to Miami-Dade County’s local economy and serves ocean carrier customers by linking worldwide markets with U.S. consumers and producers. The PortMiami tour allows conference attendees to explore its logistical, financial and technological partnerships within the maritime industry, along with investments inshore power systems to ensure emissions reduction.
Mayor Cantrell is a fellow in the Henry Crown Fellowship through the Aspen Institute.