Island Leaders Promote Global Goals, Local Action Day
In an unprecedented show of unity and purpose, Hawaiʻi and other island leaders gathered on April 18 2019, to significantly raise the profile on climate change. With scientists voicing growing alarm about rapidly changing world temperatures, sea level rise and potential displacement of populations, islands are demonstrating their leadership in finding solutions and implementing action to achieve an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future.
In addition to signing a Declaration of Commitment to Sustainability for Hawaiʻi, leaders and the public celebrated the five-year anniversary of the Aloha+ Challenge, which, along with the state’s commitment to achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and signing on to the Paris Agreement, led to the United Nation’s recognition of the Hawaiʻi Green Growth Local2030 Islands Hub.
As a United Nations Hub, Hawaiʻi, in collaboration with the Global Island Partnership, will advance concrete initiatives and open-data platforms, scale successful models and build educational pathways for next generation’s leaders.
Hawaiʻi leaders from all branches and levels of government, along with United Nations and island representatives from the UN Global Compact Forum, Grenada, Aruba, and New Zealand, and public, private and civil society leaders—also signed the Malama Mandate, renewing their commitment to sustainability and climate priorities through island values and actions.
On the eve of Earth Day and the conclusion of the Mahalo, Hawai‘i Sail by Hokule‘a, the final leg of the Worldwide Voyage, island leadership made the following observations:
David Y. Ige, Governor, State of Hawaiʻi:
“This gathering of leaders shows our collective commitment to fighting global climate change. Our fight started long before today and will continue well into the future. Hawaiʻi is committed to working with island leaders from around the world to implement and track progress made. By partnering, we can scale models that advance the global sustainability model.”
Harry Kim, Mayor, County of Hawaiʻi
“Hawaiʻi, the most precious and beautiful of place and people. We are committed to join hands with partners around the world through the United Nations Local 2030 to make us a better people and stewards of this world for nā keiki.”
Scott K. Saiki, State of Hawaiʻi, Speaker of the House of Representatives:
“The Legislature supports the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development designed to put the world on a path toward a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future,” said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki (McCully, Kāheka, Kakaʻako, Downtown).
“Over the past five years, we have worked together to pass legislation supporting sustainable solutions, including modernizing the energy grid, setting the goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045, and enacting ratepayer protections. The Legislature remains committed to achieving our objectives in the areas of conservation, sustainability and economic development.”
Ronald Kouchi, State of Hawaiʻi, President of the Senate
“This marks the 5th year anniversary of the State of Hawaiʻi endorsing and supporting the Aloha+ Challenge through Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 69, that set ambitious goals of sustainability for the state by the year 2030. I am proud to say that on Kaua‘i, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Co-op currently uses 53% renewable energy to provide the island with electricity and hopes to be using 63% by the end of the year—well beyond the proposed 40% renewable energy use targeted by SCR69. With regard to food sustainability, Kaua‘i’s two state run hospitals are serving Kauai produced locally sourced meals, with an eye toward expanding this program to all fifteen public schools on Kauai. Although we have made tremendous strides toward sustainability, there remains much to accomplish if we are to remain on the path to self-sufficiency.”
J. Kalani English, Senate Majority Leader of the State of Hawaiʻi
“Through the enactment of bold legislative measures, Hawaiʻi continues to be a global leader in addressing sustainability and climate change challenges,” said Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English (Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe). “Our support for the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Hawaiʻi Green Growth Local 2030 Islands Hub further builds on a history of systems-thinking and traditional knowledge. It also reinforces our commitment to the protection and sustainability of our people, communities, natural resources and economic prosperity.”
Brian Schatz, U.S. Senator, Hawai‘i
“The Aloha Challenge started as an idea to take our state’s values and our accomplishments and turn them into action. Today, that notion is no longer an aspiration. It’s no longer theoretical. It’s happening. And the rest of the world is paying attention, because we are setting the standard for how things should be done,” said Sen. Schatz.
Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative, Hawai‘i:
“Hawai‘i is leading the change we need to make to protect our environment for future generations, and doing so through our collective commitment to the Aloha+ Challenge. The progress we are making towards making global impact is due to local action, leading with aloha for each other, our ʻāina and the world we all share. Mahalo to the Hawaiʻi Green Growth partnership, our UN Local2030 Hub, for your dedication to securing a more sustainable future for our Island Earth.”
Kirk Caldwell, Mayor, City and County of Honolulu:
“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time, but government cannot tackle it alone. We need to develop global networks that feature local leaders, and the HGG United Nations Local2030 Islands Hub is a significant platform to take action and build resilient communities. The City and County of Honolulu is committed to advancing our goals of sustainability through the Aloha+ Challenge and by working with other cities and partners, we can make significant strides on our climate agenda.”
Derek S.K. Kawakami, Mayor, County of Kaua‘i:
“Kaua‘i like other islands around the world is feeling the impacts of climate change. Our island is already ahead of our renewable energy commitments, and the United Nations recognition through the Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Island Hub is a significant step in the right direction. We are committed to advancing the Aloha+ Challenge as our local contribution to meet global sustainability and climate goals, which is why we launched the Kaua‘i Aloha+ Challenge as a way for our communities and students to get involved. We encourage everyone to sign up and participate to make Kaua‘i better than how we found it.”
Michael P. Victorino, Mayor, County of Maui:
“The County of Maui is committed to achieving balanced economic, community, and environmental priorities through statewide intergovernmental collaborations with public-private partners on the Aloha+ Challenge. Our island values and the health of our communities are of utmost importance, and the new partnership with the United Nations as a Local2030 sustainability hub recognizes what Hawai‘i has to offer the world.”
Celeste Connors, Executive Director, Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Islands Hub:
“The Aloha+ Challenge five-year anniversary is a tribute to statewide collaboration across government, business, and civil society to build a more resilient and prosperous future for Hawai‘i, and local action to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As a United Nations Local2030 Islands Hub, we can attract new resources to Hawai‘i to support our success and scale island models that can have a major impact regionally and globally.”
Patricia Purcell, UN Global Compact’s Cities Programme:
“The United Nations is pleased to partner with the Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Islands Hub to promote island-led solutions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Hawai‘iʻs Aloha+ Challenge demonstrates the significance of local leadership, and serves as a model for the regions around the world with the Global Island Partnership. Through the UN-wide Local2030 initiative and Global Compact Forum, islands economies can share solutions with a vast global network of cities, companies, and partners to accelerate local action on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.”
H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau:
“The launch of the Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Islands Hub is a recognition of Hawai‘i’s local SDG action through the Aloha+ Challenge and collective island leadership together with the Global Island Partnership. We will work to launch new island sustainability hubs and scale successful models Local2030 Initiative. Change an island, and you can change the world.”