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Without bold climate action, Hawaii’s future could be at risk

Without bold climate action, Hawaii’s future could be at risk

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Every day, Hawaii is suffering the effects of climate change.

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Worsening storms and rising sea levelsThey are threatening our communities. Health disparitiesThe number of people moving across the state is increasing. If we don’t change the situation, the effects of climate change will only get worse. 

You don’t have to look far to see the impact of climate change on Hawaii’s daily life. Extreme weather is a result of climate change in Hawaii. wildfires and floods.

From 2010 to 2020 Hawaii was subject to 145 extreme weather conditions that caused significant damage to the state. nearly $1 trillion in damages. Already, 66,000 people in Hawai’icoastal flooding and, by 2050, another 152,000 people will be at risk from rising sea levels.

Inaction will only lead to more extreme weather. Our leaders must now take action to reduce climate-harming carbon emissions.

With President Joe Biden and Congress delivering bipartisan infrastructure legislation mid-November, our leaders now need to deliver a strong climate bill in Hawaii. Thankfully, we have a solution and a concrete pathway to address the climate crisis and support our nation’s growing clean energy future in a just and equitable way.

Large waves crashed into a walkway near Fort DeRussy Beach Park, after tidal predictions predicted higher than average tides. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

The Build Back Better Act, which was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, marks a significant milestone in our ability to make historic investments of more than $550 million in climate action, clean electricity, and environmental justice.

For years, scientists have warned us about the dangers associated with inaction on climate change. It’s a moment of code red for the climate crisis. The BBBA will set our nation on a path to reduce carbon pollution by at most 50% by 2030. This is the same goal scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Climate action is a matter that of justice for communities of color or low-wealth, who are disproportionately affected and bear the brunt of climate change. The BBBA will invest to improve environmental justice in these communities.

This bold climate bill will also be a jumpstart Hawaii’s growing clean energy economy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic clean energy jobs were increasing 70% faster than the economy as a whole, and today, about 13,000 Hawaii residentsThey are employed in the sector of clean energy. We can capitalize on this potential and ensure a bright, prosperous future in clean energy for all of our state with the BBBA.

Hawaii deserves better than the status-quo. Our state is doing everything possible to address the climate crisis, even setting aside a 2045 net-zero emissions targetWe need to have the support of our leaders in Congress to protect our environment. While I appreciate Rep. Ed Case (HI-01) following through on his commitment to support the BBBA and Rep. Kai Kahele’s (HI-02) vocal support of the bill, there is still work to be done.

Now, the Senate will debate the Build back Better Act. All elected officials in the country must now work together to bring about the change people want. It is crucial that the Senate quickly passes this bold climate bill. The House must then act on the final BBBA.

Already, 77% of Hawai’i votersEncourage their Members of Congress and to support the BBBA’s bold climate-related provisions. Climate change isn’t a matter of politics; it’s a matter of quality of life and in all our best interests to confront the climate crisis head-on. Now let’s pass the Build Back Better Act.

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