STAND. COM. REP. NO. 626
RE: S.B. No. 944
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 944 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to add to the authority of the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission (Commission) by directing it to:
(1) Identify and prioritize nature-based solutions to climate change; and
(2) Assess opportunities for insurance and other risk transfer mechanisms that incentivize investment in nature-based solutions to climate change.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, EcoTipping Points Project, Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, and three individuals.
Your Committees find that greenhouse gas emissions are a leading cause of global warming and climate change. The Legislature has passed numerous measures over the last decade to address climate change. Among them, Act 32, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, commits Hawaii to systematically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resiliency to climate change in alignment with the principles and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Your Committees further find that Hawaii has increasing exposure to climate-change-related risks and events. The islands also have environmental resources such as forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and other natural infrastructure that, if healthy, well-managed, and functioning, can help reduce emissions as well as mitigate the risks and related loss and damages from climate change.
Your Committees therefore find that it is important to invest in nature-based solutions to climate change.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an appropriation amount of $50,000 for fiscal year 2019-2020 and adding an appropriation of $50,000 for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the Commission to identify and prioritize nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change impacts; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 944, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 944, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land,
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair