Honolulu, Hawaii Ordinance 20-47 - Office of Resilience

In December 2020, the Mayor of Honolulu signed Ordinance 20-47 (Ordinance), which formally codifies the responsibilities of the previously-established City of Honolulu Office of Resilience (Resilience Office), which include coordinating a coastal and water program, a climate resilience and equity program, and a food sustainability program. The Ordinance is meant to address climate change concerns by building on previous ordinances, and implements a ‘one water’ policy for the city. 

The Resilience Office is directed to develop and implement numerous strategies and programs, including:

  • Reporting annually on the city’s sustainability status,
  • Collecting and reporting data on the City’s benchmarking program, established by the Ordinance to increase transparency in energy usage, 
  • Planning and eventually implementing a municipal zero waste program,
  • Tracking air quality and inventorying GHG emissions,
  • Developing and implementing a climate adaptation plan to proactively prepare for the physical and economic impacts of climate change, 
  • Working with relevant city and municipal bodies to track and report sustainability efforts and progress in the tourism industry related to reducing solid waste, energy consumption, water waste, and fossil fuel usage, and
  • Establishing an energy program that coordinates actions related to GHG reduction, on-site renewable energy generation and storage, energy efficiency and conservation, and renewable-fueled transportation, helping push a 100% transition to electric or renewable vehicle fleet by 2035 (with an exception for first responder vehicles),
  • Preparing and implementing a climate action policy plan, consistent with the Ordinance’s goal of net-zero by 2045, and updating that plan every 5 years. 

The Resilience Office is also tasked with a coastal and water program, a climate resilience and equity program, and a food security and sustainability program. The coastal and water program will coordinate actions related to adaptation, protecting coastal areas, promoting resiliency and natural infrastructure development, and integrating water and urban forest management. This will include developing a coastal monitoring program, participating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System, tracking water use by agencies, and providing technical assistance to departments and agencies.


The climate resilience and equity program will focus on addressing disparate effects of climate change, coordinating policy responses, and addressing underlying policies that have allowed for disparate resilience capacities. This will include implementing community-centered engagement practices, prioritizing frontline communities, standardizing tools to advance equity in policy formulation, and providing technical assistance to agencies.

food security and sustainability program will coordinate the development of a city-wide food sustainability plan and multilevel partnerships and funding to increase food security (especially in frontline communities), provide technical assistance, and promote intersectoral coordination to address food security issues. 

In addition to establishing its own programs, the Resilience Office will assist the Honolulu Dept. of Emergency Management in developing an official city pre-disaster multi-hazard mitigation plan, which will include climate adaptation strategies, evaluation of city-wide disaster preparedness, and technical support. The Dept. of Emergency Management and the Resilience Office will also develop a long-term disaster recovery plan that includes a framework for recovery informed by input from all sectors. 

The Resilience Office was created in part to implement the 44 specific goals of the Honolulu Resilience Strategy. Codification of the Office’s responsibilities ensures compliance with Honolulu’s climate sustainability goals, the city’s General and Development plans, Hawaii law, the Paris Agreement, and Sec. 6-107 of the Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu, which previously established the Office’s existence. 

Lastly, the Ordinance establishes a ‘one water policy’ for all city entities (as opposed to separate management of waste, storm, and drinking waters) that prioritizes best use practices for all water resources, increases climate resilience of water resources and water transportation infrastructure, promotes partnerships, and encourages sustainable use. These principles will guide interagency cooperation and incorporation of one water approaches into existing plans and policies.

Publication Date: December 23, 2020

Related Organizations:

  • City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii


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Resource Types:

  • Laws
  • Legislation

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