Hawaii & Alaska
Data source: UH SOEST Coastal Geology Group

Hawaii: Council passes climate resolution despite some doom-and-gloom from Chung

HILO — The Big Island is officially facing a climate crisis, according to a resolution unanimously passed Wednesday by the Hawaii County Council.

Resolution 322 officially declares a climate emergency for the county and urges collaborative mobilization to restore the climate to stability.

Schematic diagram showing passive marine and groundwater flooding from current sea level (blue) to future sea level (red) (adapted from Rotzoll and Fletcher 2012).

The resolution, which is not legally binding, calls for the county to “implement a just, equitable countywide emergency climate mobilization to reverse global warming by drastically reducing countywide emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases” no later than 2030.

Other goals of the resolution include the swift completion of a Hawaii Island Climate Action Plan, the expansion of the county’s electric vehicle infrastructure and the support of widespread transitions to climate-smart agriculture. It concludes by calling on the rest of the state and nation and all governments worldwide to join the county in working to reverse global warming by halting the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Dozens of county residents testified in favor of the resolution, calling it a good first step in ensuring the island remains livable in what they said to be the face of impending climate catastrophe.

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