S.C.R. NO.














declaring a climate emergency and requesting statewide collaboration toward an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate.



WHEREAS, global warming has now raised the average global air temperature about one degree Celsius, and scientists have documented that this extra heat is already having a dramatic impact on the environment: larger and stronger hurricanes, increased drought and flooding, shifting rain patterns, more and larger wildfires, a hotter and more acidic ocean, and damaged ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial, across the planet; and


WHEREAS, in April 2016, world leaders recognized the urgent need to combat climate change by signing the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep global warming "well below 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels" and to "pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C (2.7F)"; and


WHEREAS, in 2017, over fifteen thousand scientists published a "Warning to Humanity", declaring that greenhouse gases produced from human activities have "pushed Earth's ecosystems to their breaking point"; and


WHEREAS, 13,784 scientists from one hundred fifty six countries have signed a declaration, unequivocally affirming that "planet Earth is facing a climate emergency" and it will now take "an immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere" to avoid untold suffering; and


WHEREAS, in the absence of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reports indicate that warming is likely to accelerate in the next decade and reach 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 - ten years earlier than projected by the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and two degrees Celsius by 2045; and


WHEREAS, based upon the scientific information and expertise available, Hawaii is in danger of disaster occurrences as a result of the effects of global warming, thereby endangering the health, safety, and welfare of the people, warranting preemptive and protective action; and


WHEREAS, the Hawaii State Constitution adopts the public trust doctrine for the benefit of the people and the right of each person to a clean and healthful environment; and


WHEREAS, 1,864 jurisdictions in thirty-three countries have already declared a climate emergency as of January 26, 2021;

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 acknowledges that an existential climate emergency threatens humanity and the natural world, declares a climate emergency, and requests statewide collaboration toward an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these climate mitigation and adaptation efforts mobilize at the necessary scale and speed:


(1) A statewide commitment to a just transition toward a decarbonized economy that invests in and ensures clean energy, quality jobs, and a statewide commitment to a climate emergency mobilization effort to reverse the climate crisis, which, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from state authorities, will transform the economy at emergency speed to zero emissions and meet the emission targets as set forth by the IPCC report to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius;


(2) A prohibition against any further public or private investment or subsidies in projects that will make the climate emergency worse, such as coal, oil, gas, and tree-burning projects, and redirecting and channeling subsidies toward low climate impact energy projects and workforce retraining;


(3) Facilitation of investments in beneficial projects and infrastructure such as zero emissions energy; electric vehicles, including clean fleet transitions for the State and counties; energy efficiency; reforestation; afforestation; climate-smart agriculture; and climate-friendly land use; and


(4) Organization and tracking of a time-phased implementation plan that assigns state government agencies' responsibilities and timetables; establishes task dependencies between departments with a priority to plan and coordinate, at a statewide level, all climate and resilience responses, including emergency mitigation of climate change effects, resilience, adaptation, engagement, education, advocacy, and research and development programs, all of which begin with a robust climate emergency public education and stakeholder outreach process; and requires all departmental reports that utilize a lifecycle greenhouse gas analysis to include a Climate Impacts section, which will provide meaningful information on how proposed actions will impact greenhouse gas reduction efforts; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State commits to statewide action that is rooted in equity, self-determination, culture, tradition, and the belief that people locally and around the world have the right to clean, healthy, and adequate air, water, land, food, education, and shelter; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that nothing in this measure constitutes a declaration of an emergency for purposes of any act authorizing the exercise of any special or extraordinary power during the period of a state emergency or other type of declared emergency; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor; Attorney General; Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; Director of the Office of Planning; and mayors of the City and County of Honolulu and counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.









Report Title:

Climate Emergency; Statewide Collaboration; Greenhouse Gases