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Without bold climate action, Hawaii’s future is at risk
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Without bold climate action, Hawaii’s future is at risk

Hawaii's Future Is At Risk Without Bold Climate Action


December 10, 2021

Every day, Hawaii is dealing with the consequences of climate changes.

From 2010 to 2020, Hawaii was hit by 145 extreme weather events which cost the state dearly 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.

Our leaders must act immediately to reduce climate-harming carbon pollution, which is driving this extreme weather.

Our leaders must now focus on a strong Hawaii climate bill, with President Joe Biden and Congress already delivering bipartisan infrastructure legislation in November. We have a solution.

After tidal predictions of higher than normal tides, large waves struck a walkway near Fort DeRussy Beach Park. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

We can make historic investments in climate action and clean energy, totaling more $550 billion, with the Build Back better Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

For years, scientists have warned us about the dangers associated with inaction on climate change. We are now at a code-red moment 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 for justice for communities of color and low-wealth communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. The BBBA will invest in these communities to advance environmental justice.

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% fasterThe economy as a whole and today, more than about 13,000 Hawaii residentsThose who work in the clean energy sector are highly qualified. The BBBA can help us capitalize on this potential to ensure a bright and prosperous future of clean energy in our state.

Hawaii deserves better. While our state is doing all it can to combat the climate crisis, which includes setting aside a 2045 net-zero emissions targetWe need to have the support of our leaders in Congress to protect our environment. Although I appreciate Rep. Ed Case’s (HI-01) support for the BBBA and Rep. Kai Kahele’s (HI02) vocal support for the bill, there are still many things to do.

Now, the Senate will debate the Build back Better Act. All of our elected officials need to come together to make the changes that people across the country want. The Senate must quickly pass this bold climate bill, and then the House must act on the final BBBA.

Already, 77% of Hawai’i votersYour Members of Congress should support the BBBA with its bold climate-related provisions. Climate change is not a political issue. It’s a matter that affects quality of life. We should all do our best to address the climate crisis head-on. Let’s now adopt the Build Back better Act.

Honolulu Civil BeatThe goal of the Center is to create an informed citizenry that strives to make Hawaii a better place. This is achieved through investigative journalism, watchdog journalism, enterprise reporting, analysis, and commentary that give readers a broad perspective on important issues in our community.


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