By Deborah Souverain

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In a move to further develop Miami’s green and renewable energy sector, the city will host the largest sustainability conference in the country, Premios Verdes.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made the announcement from City Hall on Wednesday alongside the CEO and Co-founder of Premios Verdes, Jos Javier Guarderas.

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“Our ecology is our economy and it’s well past time that we dismantle the narrative that you have to pick one or the other,” said Mayor Suarez.

Premios Verdes, a non-profit organization, works with the United Nations, the Worldlife Fund and PWC to support the development of environmentally friendly businesses.

“The green sector has been growing exponentially over the last five years, and as of today the renewable energy [sector] currently employs over 60,000 people in the greater Miami area alone,” said Mayor Suarez.

The mayor cited growth within the renewable and green energy sectors as one of the reasons fueling his decision to bring the conference to Miami.

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“Miami’s green sector has outgrown our non-green sector by 3.8 times in year-over-year growth since 2015, up until the pandemic, and it’s the only sector that did not lose jobs during the pandemic,” said Suarez.

Suarez’s announcement came nearly one year after the city of Miami joined C40 Cities, a global network of over 90 cities that are committed to tackling climate change, as well as increasing the economic and environmental wellbeing of their residents.

“It’s an honor and a privilege making this announcement today that Premios Verdes is officially coming to the city of Miami,” said Suarez who was wearing a T-shirt made completely of seaweed and organic cotton.

His environmentally friendly shirt was another sign of his commitment to support green businesses.

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The Permios Verdes conference kicks off on April 20, 2022 and runs until April 23, 2022. Visit premiosverdes.org for more information.

Deborah Souverain