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July 16, 2008


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LONDON - Governor Charlie Crist today signed a cooperative agreement with the United Kingdom's Carbon Trust to share expertise on low carbon innovation and investment and jointly develop strategies to attract low carbon industry to the UK and Florida. The agreement comes on day four of the 10-day Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission to the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain to encourage trade and investment in Florida and its international partners with a focus on climate change, aerospace, aviation and alternative and renewable energy.

Today's agreement builds on the partnership formed in 2007 between Florida and the United Kingdom to discuss and promote initiatives that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and increase climate friendly commerce between the two economies. Serving as witness for the agreement was Dr. Kim Howells, Minister of State for the United Kingdom's Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

"Florida has become a leader in the Southeast United States in increasing energy efficiency, increasing our use of alternative and renewable energy technologies and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions," Governor Crist said. "As a result, Florida companies are investing in alternative and renewable energy, and our universities are making progress in research and development. We look forward to sharing what we have learned with our partners in the United Kingdom, and working together to identify our next steps forward in protecting our environment and our economy."

The agreement signed today by Governor Crist and Michael Rea, chief operating officer of the Carbon Trust, will allow both participants to pool knowledge on developing innovative business models and financing mechanisms that encourage investment in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Another area of focus is examining how best to stimulate the transition to a low carbon economy in the UK and Florida.

"The Carbon Trust is a hub of low carbon expertise and a great example of how the UK is successfully engaging with business in the fight against climate change," Michael Rea, chief operating officer of the Carbon Trust said. "Today's agreement offers exciting opportunities and by working closely with Florida, we can share innovation and best practice for our mutual benefit. Our new partnership demonstrates how the Carbon Trust is working on an international basis to pool knowledge and ideas as part of our mission to drive forward the global low carbon economy."

The Carbon Trust is a company set up by the United Kingdom to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy. In 2006-07, Carbon Trust helped businesses and public sector customers save two million tons of carbon emissions, with cost savings of between $230 million and $300 million. Since 2002, it has invested in eleven companies with total funding of $160 million.

The Carbon Trust works with businesses and the public sector to create low carbon technologies and start-up enterprises; renewable energy projects, loans and investment credits; as well as provide investment and emissions surveys for companies. It is funded by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest Northern Ireland.

About Florida-United Kingdom Relations

Florida and the UK enjoy strong economic ties, with two-way merchandise trade valued at $2.8 billion, making the UK Florida's thirteenth largest trading partner. Further, the UK is ranked second in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Florida, totaling $4 billion in 2005. At present, one-third of all British firms in the United States operate in Florida, and about one in five Floridians working for a foreign-affiliated company are employed by a British firm. In total, British-affiliated companies employ more Floridians than companies from any other foreign country, with 335 subsidiaries employing more than 41,000.

In terms of tourism, the United Kingdom is Florida's top overseas tourism market, with 1.34 million United Kingdom arrivals for 2006. On average, travelers from the UK spend nearly two weeks in Florida and $3,196, with 72.5 percent traveling to Orlando, 15.3 percent to Miami and 12.5 percent to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

About the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission

In the United Kingdom, Governor Crist attended the Farnborough International Air Show; met with high level government leaders, including His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and His Royal Highness the Duke of York; David Miliband, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and John Ashton, Special Representative for Climate Change. He also participated in the Visit Florida marketing campaign kick-off.

In France, he will meet with senior government officials, visit a nuclear facility to promote partnerships between Florida and France in the area of alternative energy, and visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Following France, Governor Crist will travel to Russia to meet with government and business leaders to promote Florida-Russia economic relations. Lastly, Governor Crist will visit Spain, meeting with government officials and private sector representatives to discuss Florida-Spain trade and investment, and visit the world's largest photovoltaic solar facility.

Coordinated by Enterprise Florida Inc., the Team Florida delegation includes business and governmental leaders, as well as representatives from economic development organizations and state research institutions. This will be the Governor's third business development mission since taking office in 2007. Most recently, last November the Governor led the largest single-state delegation to Brazil in United States history, which generated more than $300 million in actual and anticipated sales.

Memorandum of Understanding between the Carbon Trust and the State of Florida