HI SB 559: Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission
The Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission will lead the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resiliency in line with goals set out in the Paris Agreement. (Notably the bill states: “Regardless of federal action, the legislature supports the goals of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and its effects on environments, economies, and communities around the world.”) The Commission will assess vulnerability to sea level rise as well as other climate impacts on sectors across the state, and assess the ability for Hawaii to meet their adaptation goals.
Under the legislation, Hawaii’s current Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee, which was established by state law in 2014, will be renamed to become the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission and will have expanded responsibilities.
The new Commission will retain the previous Committee’s task to develop vulnerability and adaptation reports relating to the effects of sea-level rise, but will have additional new functions and duties relating to both climate change mitigation and adaptation – including:
- setting goals and strategies for mitigation and adaptation,
- identifying vulnerabilities across all sectors,
- assessing existing efforts and capacity of existing resources to address goals, and
- tracking and reporting on progress in implementing goals.
As a first step, the Commission will focus on and develop sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation reports that will include:
- identification of the major areas of sea level rise impacts affecting the State and counties through 2050 and the related economic impacts;
- identification of applicable federal laws, policies, or programs that impact affected areas; and
- recommendations for planning, management, and adaptation for hazards associated with increasing sea level rise.
It also makes appropriations for the next two fiscal years in order to carry out its requirements and also to fund a coordinator position in state government to support the Commission.
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
- State of Hawaii