With President Trump’s decision today to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the State is prepared to address climate change as it pertains to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.

The Hawaiʻi State Legislature this session passed SB559 SD1 HD2 CD1 which recognizes that climate change poses immediate and long-term threats to the State’s economy, sustainability, security, and way of life, and addresses the impact of climate change, one of the priority issues of the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader, Sen. J. Kalani English (Dist. 7 - Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe) introduced SB559 which funds the creation of the Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission and provides the State with a guide to planning and statewide implementation using the latest scientific analysis and risk assessment to monitor and forecast climate change impacts at the regional, state and local level.

“The effects of climate change are real, as seen primarily with sea level rise in the Pacific,” said Sen. English. “The measure adopted relevant sections of the Paris Agreement as state law, which gives us legal basis to continue adaptation and mitigation strategies for Hawai‘i, despite the Federal government’s withdrawal from the treaty.”

“The bill was crafted in collaboration with the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Academy (TBA21 Academy), which hosted a think tank in the Marquesas Islands, focused on climate change and cultural resiliency,” explained Sen. English. “With our way of life here and across the Pacific being left vulnerable to sea level rise and climate change, we simply cannot leave our future in the hands of those who may be misinformed and misguided.”

TBA21 is a globally recognized art institution based in Vienna, Austria. TBA21 announced their commitment to focus on the impact of climate change on the oceans at COP21 in Paris and met with scientists, policy makers, and local leaders at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu in September 2016.

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