Climate Change Task Force
Establishes the climate change task force to assess the impacts of global warming and climate change trends in the State. (CD1)
TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO GLOBAL WARMING.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that global warming poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and environment of Hawaii. The potential adverse effects of climate change include a rise in sea levels, resulting in the displacement of businesses and residences and the inundation of Hawaii's freshwater aquifers, damage to marine ecosystems and the natural environment, extended drought and loss of soil moisture, an increase in the spread of infectious diseases, and an increase in the severity of storms and extreme weather events.
On February 2, 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body established by the United Nations, released its fourth assessment of the predicted impacts of global climate change. The panel predicted temperature rises of up to eleven-and-a-half degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 and a sea level rise of up to twenty-three inches, with an additional 7.8 inches possible if current melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica continues.
Climate change will have detrimental effects on some of Hawaii's largest industries, including tourism, agriculture, recreational, commercial fishing, and forestry as well as Hawaii's fragile and unique natural resources. Accordingly, the State needs to be prepared to understand and respond to the effects of climate change. While the legislature has taken actions to address the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the passage of Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 2007, strategies to focus on adaptation need to be investigated and implemented.
SECTION 2. Climate change task force; objectives; membership. (a) The climate change task force is established within the office of planning, for administrative purposes only. The task force shall have the following objectives:
(1) Scoping the current and potential impacts of global warming and climate change on the people, natural resources, and the economy of the State, including impacts on:
(A) The visitor industry;
(B) Intrastate and interstate air and sea transportation of cargo and persons;
(C) Existing buildings and the public utilities infrastructure;
(D) The health of the people of the State; and
(E) Native plants, animals, and ecosystems;
(2) Scoping the potential impacts of rising ocean levels as a result of climate change on the people, natural resources, and the economy of the State, including impacts on:
(A) The visitor industry;
(B) Shoreline erosion;
(C) Intrastate and interstate air and sea transportation of cargo and persons;
(D) Existing buildings and the public utilities infrastructure;
(E) The health of the people of the State; and
(F) Native plants, animals, and ecosystems;
(3) Estimate the costs to the State of the adverse effects associated with climate change and rising sea levels; and
(4) Make recommendations to the legislature and the governor on measures that would address or mitigate the near- and long-term effects of climate change. Such measures may include:
(A) Protecting against shoreline erosion;
(B) Maintaining the visitor industry;
(C) Relocating or armoring the transportation infrastructure, such as airports, highways, and ports;
(D) Implementing restrictions on construction in areas at risk for sea level rise and inundation;
(E) Improving or hardening the public utilities infrastructure, including communication lines, power generation systems, water supply systems, and wastewater treatment and disposal systems;
(F) Preparing for health emergencies and impacts to established emergency management systems; and
(G) Preserving the health, biodiversity, and resilience of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
(b) The climate change task force shall comprise the following:
(1) The director of the office of planning or the director's designee, who shall act as chairperson;
(2) The deputy director of the department of health's environmental health administration or the deputy director's designee;
(3) The director of transportation or the director's designee;
(4) The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources, or the chairperson's designee;
(5) The vice-director of civil defense of the department of defense or the vice-director's designee;
(6) One member appointed by each of the mayors of Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui counties;
(7) Three members appointed by the president of the senate, of whom one shall be from an environmental organization;
(8) Three members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, of whom one shall be from an environmental organization;
(9) The director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; and
(10) One member from the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research to be appointed by its administrative board.
Members of the task force shall be exempt from section 26‑34, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for expenses necessary for the performance of their duties, including travel expenses.
(c) The task force shall:
(1) Submit a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2010; and
(2) Submit a final report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2011.
(d) The office of planning shall provide administrative and clerical support required by the task force.
(e) The task force shall cease to exist on June 30, 2011.
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the tourism special fund the sum of $50,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the purposes of this Act.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of planning for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.