Bill Text: HI SB930 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating To Climate Change.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 9-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-15 - Report adopted; Passed Second Reading and referred to WAM. [SB930 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SB930-Introduced.html

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

930

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to climate change.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The risks posed by climate change to Hawaii were recognized as early as 1984 in Senate Resolution No. 137.  In response to the resolution, a 1985 report titled the Effects on Hawaii of a Worldwide Rise in Sea Level Induced by the Greenhouse Effect was compiled.  The report noted the debate surrounding the greenhouse effect had shifted from questioning the possibility that the greenhouse effect would occur to whether the effect would be mild or severe, as well as the time frame for its imminent occurrence.

     Hawaii's first iteration of a climate change action plan was completed in 1998.  The Hawaii climate change action plan did not set specific goals, but was intended to be a catalyst for discussions by Hawaii's people about their involvement in future efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.  The plan's major recommendation was to develop a consensus about the State's goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

     Hawaii's first sustainability plan, published in 2008, warned of global warming, rising sea levels, and stronger, more frequent storms impacting Hawaii.  The sustainability plan also established many goals and recommendations, including strategic actions to: reduce reliance on fossil fuels; conserve water and ensure an adequate water supply; conduct research to strengthen management initiatives to respond to rising sea levels, coastal hazards, erosion, and other natural hazards; and develop a comprehensive environmental mapping and measurement system to evaluate the overall health and status of the State's natural ecosystems.  In an effort to reduce the State's reliance on fossil fuels, the plan set a benchmark that required twenty per cent of the State's electricity to be generated from renewable resources by the end of 2020.

     In 2009, the multi-stakeholder ocean resources management plan working group, established by the Hawaii coastal zone management program, developed a framework for climate change adaptation in Hawaii as part of the ocean resources management plan implementation.  Core values for adaptation to climate change were established to provide a:

     (1)  Safe environment for residents and visitors;

     (2)  Healthy environment to promote human well-being and sustainable ecosystem services;

     (3)  Productive environment to enable residents to thrive; and

     (4)  Resilient environment able to withstand shocks to the system.

     The Hawaii state planning act was amended in 2012 with the addition of the climate change adaptation priority guidelines.  These guidelines were created to encourage the collaboration needed to prepare the State to address the impacts of climate change, including impacts to the areas of agriculture, conservation lands, coastal and nearshore marine areas, natural and cultural resources, education, energy, higher education, health, historic preservation, water resources, the built environment, and the economy.

     In 2014, the Hawaii Climate Adaptation Initiative act was signed into law.  The Act was intended to protect the State's economy, health, environment, and way of life by:  establishing the interagency climate adaptation committee, which was composed of State and county government representatives and tasked with developing a sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report.  The Act also authorized the office of planning to coordinate the development of a statewide climate adaptation plan and use this report as a model framework for addressing other climate threats and priorities.

     In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to require a one hundred per cent renewable power supply by year 2045.  The legislature passed other climate mitigation measures during the regular sessions of 2015 and 2016, including measures directing all public schools and university campuses to become net zero with respect to energy use by the year 2035; establishing the Hawaii community-based renewable energy program to make the benefits of renewable energy generation accessible to a greater number of Hawaii residents; and designating a state hydrogen implementation coordinator to promote fuel cell technology.

     In 2017, the State expanded its efforts to further mitigate and adapt to climate change.  The interagency climate adaptation committee was renamed the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission and was assigned various tasks related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including systematically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving Hawaii's resiliency to climate change aligned with the principals and contributing to the goals established by the 2014 Paris Agreement.  Through these efforts, Hawaii has established a solid foundation for adapting to climate change; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and adopting strategies to protect the State's economy, health, environment, and way of life.

     In December 2017 the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission produced the first Hawaii sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report.  The report identified areas that are susceptible to sea level rise impacts based on a 3.2 foot increase in sea level projected to occur by mid-century, or later.  The report also made a number of recommendations to state and county agencies based on emerging good practices, designed to strengthen Hawaii's overall readiness to face sea level rise and climate change.

     More recently, in 2018, the legislature passed additional measures related to climate change, including measures supporting the greenhouse gas sequestration task force; establishing a carbon offset program within the office of planning; and establishing a zero emissions clean energy target by 2045, or earlier.

     While Hawaii has taken significant strides toward carbon neutrality, over the past thirty years, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by almost twenty per cent, from three hundred forty-five parts per million (ppm) to four hundred ten ppm.  This trend is anticipated to continue for several decades.  Thus, even if Hawaii achieves carbon neutrality in the next twenty to thirty years, global carbon emissions from developing countries will steadily increase over this time.  Despite the State's trailblazing accomplishments, Hawaii will not escape the severe effects of climate change.  It is therefore critical that Hawaii brace for these effects by implementing aggressive climate adaptation measures.  Rapid deployment of climate adaptation measures will require supporting policies, legislation, and financial resources at all levels of government.

     The purpose of this Act is to support the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation initiative by providing affected agencies and departments of the state and county with the necessary resources to implement this Act.

     SECTION 2.  (a)  The Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission shall assist the departments, offices, or agencies of the State or its political subdivisions to:

     (1)  Develop sea level rise adaptation plans in accordance with the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report; and

     (2)  Provide education and outreach to any community in the various counties regarding improving the community's resiliency to climate change.

     (b)  Under the direction of the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission, the climate change mitigation and adaptation coordinator shall assist the departments, offices, or agencies of the State or its political subdivisions to:

     (1)  Conduct an inventory of existing and planned state and county facilities and determine if any facilities are in or near a sea level rise exposure area;

     (2)  Prepare a report that includes a discussion of any vulnerable facilities and the facilities' sensitivity to sea level rise impacts;

     (3)  Prepare a budget that includes the cost of adapting to sea level rise by avoiding or minimizing development in the sea level rise exposure area; and

     (4)  Report all findings to the commission.

     SECTION 3.  (a)  The Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission shall assist the departments, offices, or agencies of the State or its political subdivisions to implement climate change mitigation efforts in accordance with state policies.

     (b)  Under the direction of the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission, the climate change mitigation and adaptation coordinator shall assist the departments, offices, or agencies of the State or its political subdivisions to:

     (1)  Conduct an inventory of state and county facilities and vehicles and determine energy usage of the facilities and vehicles;

     (2)  Prepare a report that includes the State's goals as translated into goals for the departments, offices, or agencies of the State or its political subdivisions, and establishes one, three, and five-year action plans necessary to achieve these goals;

     (3)  Supervise studies and help the departments, offices, or agencies of the State or its political subdivisions to take action to reduce mitigation including but not limited to:  parking cash out programs; clean fleet transitions for the State and the various counties; car share programs; the development and deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure; and any other necessary and relevant studies to inform commission action;

     (4)  Initiate a public advertising campaign for a program that will encourage behavioral changes that support clean transportation and climate change issues; and

     (5)  Report all findings to the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission.

     SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the purposes of this Act.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 5.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $75,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to fund the climate change mitigation and adaptation coordinator position established by Act 32, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Climate Change; Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission; Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Coordinator; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission and coordinator to assist the State and counties with developing and implementing various sea level rise adaptation plans and climate change mitigation efforts.  Appropriate funds to support the Hawaii climate change initiative.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

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