In 2016, Govenor David Ige signed Act 32 Session Laws of Hawai‘i, 2017, making Hawai‘i the first state to enact legislation implementing parts of the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement was signed by 195 nations on November 4, 2016, and is the largest, concerted global effort to combat climate change to date.
Unprecedented warming of the atmosphere due to greenhouse gas emissions poses a significant threat to the people of our State. That is why we are fully committed to confronting climate change by systematically reducing green house gas emissions and improving our resiliency to its deleterious effects utilizing the principles and contributing to the goals set by the Paris Agreement.
Act 32 amended Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 225P by renaming the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee (ICAC) the “Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission” (Climate Commission) as well as assigning various tasks to the Climate Commission related to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
It is anticipated that the new Climate Commission will provide direction, facilitation, coordination and planning among state and county agencies, federal agencies, and other partners about climate change mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gases) and climate change resiliency strategies, including, but not limited to, sea level rise adaptation, water and agricultural security, and natural resource conservation. The Climate Commission will be placed under the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) for administrative purposes and is to be headed jointly by the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Director of the Office of Planning (OP), or their designees.