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VP Kamala Harris in South Florida, participates in climate conference

VP Kamala Harris in South Florida, takes part in climate conference
VP Kamala Harris in South Florida, takes part in climate conference 02:42

MIAMI - Vice President Kamala Harris was in South Florida Wednesday where she took part in the Aspen Ideas: Climate Conference in Miami Beach.

The conference kicked off its second year to combat climate change.

Harris participated in a moderated discussion late in the afternoon on the Biden-Harris administration's investments and actions to combat the climate crisis and ongoing efforts to build a new clean energy economy that works for all.

VP Kamala Harris in South Florida, participates in climate conference 01:48

"With the infrastructure law, with the Inflation Reduction Act, with the CHIPS Act we are looking thus far in the two years of our administration at about one trillion dollars that's going to hit the streets of America on the issue of Climate," Harris said.

Many say Miami Beach is the perfect place to stage the conference since it is ground zero for climate change, especially when talking about sea level rise and increasing temperatures.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the city has taken steps to mitigate the damaging effects.

"From a remediation point of view, look we have solutions in our city that work. We have raised our roads and installed a pump system with our water management. We do not have flooding anywhere close to what was before so we've managed it. If you go down to the Keys, there are places where they haven't done anything yet with 90 days of saltwater flooding at some intersections. Imagine living in a community where there's two feet of water right outside your door for three months," he said. 

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava took part in the conference Wednesday morning. She participated in a conversation moderated by the CEO and President of the International Center for Research on Women, Peggy Clark, and host a roundtable with environmental women leaders on International Women's Day. 

"I am extremely proud to be the first woman mayor of Miami-Dade County. And I hope that this does make sure that little girls and bigger girls everywhere know that there are paths to achieve whatever they dream is possible," she said.

Cava said she's always had the support of family and friends to help her achieve her dreams.

"I had a great education. I got to travel the world, so I had many, many advantages, including training in law and social work, both, I think, very critical to success in making change," she said.     

Several of the conference participants took part in a beach clean-up on Tuesday. They said it's important to discuss the impacts of climate change and find solutions. 

"I feel everyone is more inspired, everyone is ready to talk more about it, to start looking into solutions, to find innovations, what else can we do?" said Sophie Ringel, founder of Clean Miami Beach.

When asked what is missing, Ringel said, "action, real true action."

Her four-year-old non-profit leads weekly beach clean-ups and educates communities about environmental challenges that need solutions. 

"I really wish we stopped talking and take action a little faster," Ringel said.

"If we do not educate ourselves on sea level rise and climate change, then we're going to be left with situations where we have no time to implement the solutions that we already have and we're continuing to work on. The short answer for you, if we don't, we're going to be underwater where we stand now," said conversationist Trent Bryan.

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