S.C.R. NO.

















     WHEREAS, in 2018, the State adopted legislation committed to complying with the Paris Climate Agreement to reach carbon neutrality by 2045; and


     WHEREAS, coastal erosion threatens nearly every beach in Hawaii and has caused more than thirteen miles of shoreline to be lost throughout the islands; and


     WHEREAS, local experts estimate that the sea level will rise by three feet as early as 2060 and cause at least $19,000,000,000 in damage by the end of the century; and


     WHEREAS, the sediment released from erosion also decreases ocean water quality and causes ocean acidification, both of which are harmful to local reefs; and


     WHEREAS, in 2019, petroleum-fired energy accounted for approximately 70.4 percent of Hawaii's net electricity generation (6,864 MWh) while forms of renewable energy, such as conventional hydroelectric, all utility-scale solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass, accounted for only 12.14 percent of the State's net electricity generation; and


     WHEREAS, the State is legally required to obtain one hundred percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040 as outlined in its renewable portfolio standards; and


     WHEREAS, professors at Cornell University affirm that environmental education is an essential element of the global response to climate change and climate literacy promotes students rethinking their attitudes and decisions; and


     WHEREAS, the State is particularly vulnerable to natural disaster exacerbated by climate change through wildfires or major storms, and students in the State would especially benefit from environmental education to foster community and socio-ecological resilience; and


     WHEREAS, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is responsible for managing the State's coastal waters, beaches, state parks, and public lands, including seven hundred fifty miles of coastline, 1,300,000 acres of state lands, and fifty-two state parks; and


     WHEREAS, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is the agency tasked with caring for the State's plant and wildlife sanctuaries, conservation districts, watershed protection, natural area reserves, and protecting native resources, including the preservation of endangered species and unique ecosystems; and


     WHEREAS, in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources was budgeted $185,298,304 in the Statewide Supplemental Operating Budget out of a statewide total of $16,197,208,201, constituting only 1.1 percent of the Statewide Supplemental Operating Budget; and


     WHEREAS, the City and County of Honolulu's Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resilience plays a critical role in Hawaii's response to climate change by monitoring the evolution of climate science, coordinating the response and policies within the City and County of Honolulu, integrating sustainable and environmental values into legislation, and prioritizing community preparedness; and


     WHEREAS, ecological restoration projects in support of the recovery of damaged or destroyed ecosystems is extremely valuable in mitigating the negative effects of climate change, by enhancing the extent and fun­ctioning of carbon sinks and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; and


     WHEREAS, most ecological restoration projects are community efforts.  For example, Hui o Koolaupoko works with volunteers at the Heeia Estuary to remove invasive species, which filters stormwater runoff, fosters native species growth, and aids in erosion control; and


     WHEREAS, forty governments worldwide have already implemented some form of carbon emission regulation, through either a direct carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program, which results in a drastic reduction in coal use and carbon emissions, a necessary step in combating climate change.  For example, Sweden introduced an extensive carbon tax in 1995, which has since shrunk their carbon emissions by twenty-five percent, while growing their economy by seventy-five percent; and


     WHEREAS, economists from across the political spectrum almost universally support a tax on carbon emissions, as it can stimulate a country's economy and create an incentive to invest in the green energy industry; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that this body reaffirms Hawaii's commitment to combating climate change and prioritizing climate change legislation; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State commits to focusing on climate change legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions as laid out in the framework of the 2016 Paris Climate Accord; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State continue its commitment to set ambitious goals for carbon sequestration, decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease of the State's dependence on imported fuels; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State will persist in its mission to reach carbon neutrality and use renewable sources to obtain one hundred percent of the State's electricity by 2040 and will prioritize the establishment of a green energy industry within the islands by supporting renewable sources of energy and green initiatives; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State will commit to considering the scope and importance of the Department of Land and Natural Resources' mission when determining future statewide supplemental operating budgets to ensure the Department is capable of protecting and preserving the flora and fauna under its jurisdiction, which is a critical component of Hawaii's response to climate change; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State recognizes the importance of raising awareness about the climate crisis and advocating for climate literacy and will promote youth climate literacy and increased public awareness; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State will support ecological restoration projects to integrate government and community level efforts to restore native plants and animals to their local habitats and the positive impacts these projects can have in regard to climate change; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, and the Director of the Office of Planning.









Report Title: 

Climate Change; Paris Agreement; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Carbon Neutrality; Climate Literacy; Renewable Energy; Ecological Restoration