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The Economic Perspective 03/08/2024

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic News Curated for You By The Balmoral Group


The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.


Happy Friday!


Welcome back to this week’s edition of The Economic Perspective, and we wish everyone a Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! Today, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world, reinforce a commitment to women’s equality and observe this year’s IWD campaign theme, Inspire Inclusion. The first IWD was held in March 1911, and for 113 years, this has been a day of global activism and celebration that brings people together in their commitment to forging women’s equality. As a woman-owned business, we at The Balmoral Group celebrate our commitment to women’s inclusion every day through our work and community engagement. There are many IWD events today around the world where you can volunteer, celebrate, or just acknowledge the significance of this day. To find an event near you click here!


In addition, TBG’s Greg Seidel spent the week in Australia with our Sydney and Brisbane teams comparing notes on how the U.S. and Australia confront emerging issues in the water and resiliency space - seen in the photo below with BGA staff Ben Wolfgramm, Jonathan Thompson and Edwin Chihava at the Premier's office in Brisbane.



In this week’s edition, we have articles on funding for land conservation in Florida’s Wildlife Corridor, displacement of populations from extreme weather, new corporate climate risk disclosure rules, and more! We hope you enjoy the read and let us know what you think! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you’d like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here!


 

$26 Million Announced for Florida Conservation Projects

On March 6th, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a state signing investment of $26 million to conserve 16,200 acres in Florida.  This includes five Florida Forever projects within the Avalon, Etoniah/Cross Florida Greenway, Longleaf Pine Ecosystem, Apalachicola River, and Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem. The investment grows the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a connection of lands branching the state for wildlife habitat and refuge, by an astounding 13,080 acres. Each Florida Forever project areas will obtain large additions to their ecosystems under protection from the Florida DEP. Read more about this exciting news here. Image Credit: Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, 04/23


2.5 Million Displaced by Extreme Weather in 2023

The US Census Bureau has released results from its national household surveys that show nearly 2.5 million Americans were displaced by disasters in 2023. The data reveals that those with the fewest resources as well as marginalized groups or those with disabilities were more likely to be displaced from their homes. The US Census Bureau’s findings support research that low-income and marginalized communities are at higher risks from natural disasters especially flooding. Research is underway, including a model from Johns Hopkins University (COPEWELL), to identify investments that could be made to bolster resilience, including identifying gaps in resources such as health care and transportation before disasters occur. Read more here.


Paper Mill Site Repurposed for Concrete Facility

SRM Concrete recently purchased a 300-acre industrial parcel in Panama City for $30 million. A paper mill once operated at the coastal site, but it will now be repurposed to produce concrete products. “The deepwater terminals allow us to bring in cement from anywhere in the world and support our ready-mix needs,” SRM Concrete CEO Jeff Hollingshead said. “So that’s what the thought is, by us pursuing this particular site and being able to bring in cement and other cementitious materials.” SRM Concrete plans to eventually move all operations from their Southport site to the mill. Read more here.


U.S. Companies Will Have to Start Telling the Public About Their Climate Risks

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to approve new climate risk disclosure rules. This will require businesses to disclose information on emissions and other material risks that climate change has to their business to the public. While some climate activists say the rules were watered down after the SEC dropped controversial requirements to include supply chain impacts, these rules are a first that could help investors reconsider the risks of climate change. The hope is to reduce greenwashing, increase transparency, and understand the economic threat that climate change poses. Read more here.


Florida Senate Passes Bill Banning Local Heat Protections for Workers

On Tuesday, the Senate passed HB 433 that bans any political subdivision created by or under state law to establish local heat exposure rules that go beyond the requirements required by law. Proponents of the bill argue that it will provide uniform requirements across the state, while those who oppose argue that outdoor workers like those in agriculture or construction would be left without heat exposure protections. As a result, Florida employers would be required to follow federal guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Read more here.


Data Visualization of the Week

Women's Employment in Transportation Construction


A new report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association highlights some employment statistics and trends for women in certain transportation construction industries (architecture & engineering firms, highway & bridge contractors, and construction materials suppliers & related manufacturing). In 2022, women accounted for 48% of total U.S. employment. However, the share in these three industries is significantly lower. While the share of A&E and H&B firms has slightly increased since 2002, the share in suppliers & manufacturing slightly declined. You can access the report and more in depth statistics here.


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