Monday, July 9, 2012

Hawaii Governor Signs Climate Adaptation Bill into Law

The following is a press release from the State of Hawaii, Office of Planning:

HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 2745 into law, making Hawai’i one of few states in the nation to adopt a statewide climate adaptation policy for dealing with the impacts of climate change.

The bill integrates climate change adaptation priority guidelines into the current statewide planning system. The guidelines were developed through collaboration between county, state and federal agencies, as well as businesses, community and Native Hawaiian organizations.

“By adding climate adaptation to Hawai’i’s planning system, we ensure that this issue will be considered in state and county budgetary, land use, and other decision-making processes,” said Governor Abercrombie. “SB 2745 creates the framework to take actions today so that the natural and built environments we enjoy and depend upon are available for future generations. The measure further ensures that we consider Native Hawaiian traditional knowledge and practices in planning for the impacts of climate change.”

Several state entities are currently engaged in activities related to the potential impacts of climate change on state resources, including the Department of Transportation, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources. In addition, the State Office of Planning is coordinating with state and county agencies on integrating the climate adaptation policy into current rules and regulations, with the support of the University of Hawai’i.

“Long-term planning is required to increase our ability to adjust to climate change,” said Jesse Souki, Director of the Office of Planning. “Investing today in moderating potential damage, identifying advantages and opportunities, and developing systems to cope with consequences, can save the state from losses and increased costs in the future.”

According to Dr. Chip Fletcher with the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, “Major climate changes with the potential to impact Hawai’i include warmer temperatures, decreased rainfall and stream flow, decreased rain intensity, sea-level rise, and ocean warming and acidification.”
A copy of Act 286 (2012) can be found at

No comments: