H.B. NO.














relating to climate change.






SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that due to climate change, Hawaii has experienced over half a foot of sea level rise in recent decades, and the rate of sea level rise is quickly accelerating.  Data show that Honolulu could experience regular flooding of the urban core at high tide in as little as fifteen years.  In addition, Hawaii has experienced a rapid rise in air temperatures averaging a 0.3 degree increase per decade, with stronger warming at higher elevations.  The rising sea level and changes in temperature will have a catastrophic effect on Hawaii.  The increases in temperatures are causing warming seas which has led to more hurricanes of increasing intensity.  A hurricane direct hit on Honolulu is estimated to cause a loss of $40,000,000,000 to Hawaii's infrastructure and economy.  Greater storm surges due to sea level rise could result in the loss of coastal property and infrastructure, increased cost for disaster damage and insurance, and loss of life.  If nothing is done, the adverse effects of climate change will add a significant burden to local taxpayers, our economy, and way of life.

The legislature further finds that increasing vegetation and trees provide a myriad of societal benefits.  Along with the beneficial environmental impacts commonly associated with increased vegetation and trees such as fighting carbon emissions and improving air quality, increased vegetation can produce significant psychological and quality of life benefits for a community.  Studies have determined that people who live in areas with more trees are less likely to have acute respiratory symptoms and less likely to die of heart disease or respiratory disease.  Additionally, studies have found that mental health is improved by living in areas with more trees and vegetation.

The legislature further finds that Hawaii is world-renowned for its vegetation, and that citizens and tourists alike actively seek out green spaces.  Increasing the number of parks and green spaces in Honolulu's urban core increases the quality of life of residents and will enhance and validate the State's reputation for natural beauty.

Accordingly, the purpose of this part is to help combat climate change by increasing vegetation and trees in the urban core which will decrease temperatures, sequester carbon emissions, and improve quality of life in Honolulu.

SECTION 2.  (a)  There is established a green urban core pilot project to be administrated by the greenhouse gas sequestration task force established under section 225P-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  The task force shall work with the department of transportation to coordinate and execute the pilot project.

(b)  The goals of the pilot project are to reduce urban temperatures, sequester carbon emissions, and make visual improvements to Honolulu's urban core.

(c)  The pilot project shall consist of two components:

(1)  The installation of vegetation and trees at the Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport upper and lower pickup and drop-off areas, surrounding infrastructure between the main terminal, main parking garage, and new car rental facilities; and

(2)  The installation of vegetation in the section of the H-1 Freeway between Pali Highway and Ward Avenue.

     (d)  The commission shall demonstrate and employ green strategies and technologies including but not limited to:

(1)  Installing live vegetation where possible;

(2)  Installing live vegetation over vertical walls;

(3)  Installing live vegetation over vertical pillars;

(4)  Planting trees in urban areas to maximize a natural green urban canopy; and

(5)  Painting concrete and other infrastructure to blend in with Hawaii's natural environment to improve Hawaii's visual appeal.

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1,950,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to plan, design, and construct the installation of vegetation through the green urban core pilot project.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this part.


     SECTION 4.  Section 225P-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

     "(d)  Members of the task force shall [be nominated and appointed pursuant to, and subject to section 26-34 and shall] serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses necessary for the performance of their duties, including travel expenses."


     SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.

     SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019; provided that section 2 shall be repealed on June 30, 2022.








Report Title:

Climate Change; Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force; Green Urban Core Pilot Project; Appropriations



Establishes the Green Urban Core Pilot Project to develop a plan to increase the number of trees and vegetation in urban areas to sequester greenhouse gases and improve visual appearance.  Appropriates funds.  Amends the Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force nomination process.




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