Gov. Green pledges $100 million of Hawaiʻi’s surplus budget to fight climate change
To kick off Climate Week in Hawaiʻi 2023, Gov. Josh Green pledged to commit $100 million plus of the stateʻs $1.9 billion budget surplus to a climate impact fund to fight climate change and preserve the state’s natural resources.
He also established a Climate Advisory Panel and is re-committing the state to the U.S. Climate Alliance.
“To rescue what’s dear to us, to preserve our way of life — we need bold action,” Green said. “And Hawaiʻi is poised to lead the globe on clean energy and climate issues — boldly, into the future.”
The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Hawaiʻi is the only Pacific Island member of the coalition.
The Governor also has assembled a small panel of local climate, business, energy and community leaders to help formulate the goals and responsibilities of a cabinet-level senior climate advisor position and to support the recruitment of candidates for the Governor’s consideration over the next month.
The leader in this new climate position will work to foster collaboration on climate initiatives across departments; accelerate the adoption of climate and clean energy policies; and coordinate implementation of and funding for clean energy, climate and resiliency initiatives. The position will also help align and leverage broader public and private community interests with the bold, rapid changes that are needed.
Chairing the Climate Advisory Panel will be:
- Dawn Lippert, CEO of Elemental Excelerator
- Chris Benjamin, CEO of Alexander & Baldwin.
They will work with climate leaders on the Governor’s cabinet.
Other climate and energy announcements include the pursuit of major federal and private investments into the state for solar, energy efficiency and energy storage technologies to reduce costs and create healthier communities.
Other events during Climate Week include: a Youth Summit, Science Summit, a discussion on Pacific Island Women at the United Nations climate change conference known as COP27 and an Energy Policy Forum.