S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that climate change affects human health and well-being.  Major public health organizations, including the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have reported that climate change is a critical public health problem.

     Steps can be taken to lessen climate change and reduce its impacts on human health and the health of future generations.  Some of these steps can yield simultaneous benefits for human health, society, the environment, and the economy.  The federal government has also called for efforts to support climate change mitigation and adaptation to create healthier, more sustainable communities.

     The legislature has authorized numerous mitigation activities, nearly all of which are focused on infrastructure changes to reduce carbon emissions or infrastructure resilience efforts to address sea level rise or potential severe weather events.  However, Hawaii will still feel the impacts of global climate change even if the State meets all of its United Nations Paris Agreement goals, because large political and economic entities, such as the United States, China, and European Union, continue to produce greenhouse gases at a scale and pace that risks run-away climate change.

     The legislature further finds that, while investments in mitigation efforts relating to infrastructure are sound, few efforts have focused on adaptation specifically relating to human health.  Climate change exacerbates many existing diseases and health conditions and may introduce pests and pathogens into new regions or communities.  As the planet warms, oceans expand, the sea level rises, floods and droughts become more frequent and intense, and heat waves and hurricanes become more severe.  These effects of climate change place vulnerable people, including children, the elderly, the poor, and those with underlying health conditions at increased risk for diseases and other health problems.  These illnesses will begin to further stress the State's health care infrastructure, financial systems, and delivery systems.

     Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish and appropriate funds for a climate change and human health adaptation coordinator within the department of health.

     SECTION 2.  (a)  There is established within the department of health a full-time climate change and human health adaptation coordinator to:

     (1)  Direct the coordination and implementation of adaptation goals, principles, and policies relating to the effects of climate change on human health; and

     (2)  Define and implement state goals, objectives, policies, and priority guidelines relating to the effects of climate change on human health using sections 226-3 to 226-27 and 226-103 to 226-109 and chapter 225P, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as guiding principles.

     (b)  The climate change and human health adaptation coordinator shall facilitate the establishment of plans and policies on adaptation issues relating to human health.  These shall include, at a minimum:

     (1)  Temperature-related death and illness;

     (2)  Air quality impacts;

     (3)  Extreme weather events;

     (4)  Vector-borne diseases;

     (5)  Water-related illness;

     (6)  Food safety, nutrition, and distribution; and

     (7)  Mental health and well-being.

     (c)  The climate change and human health adaptation coordinator shall collaborate with the office of planning and other relevant state, county, and private entities to update the Hawaii 2050 sustainability plan regarding climate change and human health adaptation.

     (d)  The climate change and human health adaptation coordinator shall be equivalent to a program specialist VI and shall be selected by the director of health or the director's designee.

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) permanent climate change and human health adaptation coordinator position and other operating expenses.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


Report Title:

DOH; Climate Change and Human Health Adaptation Coordinator; Appropriation



Establishes and appropriates funds for a Climate Change and Human Health Adaptation Coordinator within the Department of Health.  Effective 7/1/2050.  (SD1)




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