Hawaii

HAWAII

Hawaii is one of the smallest states in the US with a population of 1.4 million. With a total land area of almost 11,000 square miles, it is around the size of Massachusetts. Consistently warm with only minor changes in temperature throughout the year, the Hawaian Islands have only two seasons: summer (kau) from May to October and winter (hooilo) from November to April. Each island has its own unique environment, making Hawaii home to all kinds of biomes, including tropical rainforests, cool alpine regions, and arid deserts. 

Climate change has strong adverse effects on Hawaii’s ecosystems and economy. Ocean warming and acidification are decimating the islands’ marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs, which are hugely important because they provide a safe place for fish to spawn, protect Hawaii’s coasts from waves and storms, and support tourism and fishing industries worth billions of dollars. Coral reefs are also fundamental to the fabric of local communities in Hawaii, providing a source of food, materials, and traditional activities. 

Related and useful non-climate change fact: research shows that common ingredients in sunscreen such as oxybenzone and octinoxate severely threaten ocean ecosystems. In Hawaii, due to its strong tourism industry, coral reefs are exposed to over 6,000 tons of sunscreen lotion every year. For context, a 2015 study showed that oxybenzone starts causing serious damage to corals at concentrations as low as the equivalent of one drop of water in six-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools. In Hawaii, popular swimming spots see concentrations more than 10 times that amount. Find reef-safe sunscreens here

Increasing heat levels also threaten Hawaii’s land flora and fauna, most of which are found nowhere else on earth. High temperatures are also a danger to Hawaii’s residents, as heat-related deaths rise in the wake of global warming.

Hawaii is also seeing increasingly intense rainfall events. On April 15th, 2018, 50 inches of rain fell on Hanalei in just 24 hours. That kind of rain is devastating to its ecosystems and population — and it’s a direct result of climate change.

Because Hawaii is an island chain in the middle of the ocean, sea level rise harms the state drastically, and has even eliminated entire islands. Whale Skate Island, a small island formerly located in Hawaii’s northwest region, disappeared due to sea level rise along with several other islands. In general, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which are low-lying and therefore at great risk from increasing sea levels, also have a high concentration of endangered and threatened species. Sea levels are projected to continue to rise three feet along the coast of Oahu during the rest of this century due to global warming.

In 2014, Hawaii passed House Bill 1714 establishing the interagency Climate Adaptation Committee, later renamed the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, which was charged with developing vulnerability and adaptation reports on the effects of sea-level rise and leading the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. The Commission was also charged with identifying climate vulnerabilities across all sectors in Hawaii, assessing existing efforts and capacities of existing resources to address goals, setting goals and creating strategies for both mitigation and adaptation, and tracking and reporting on implementation progress.

As a result, in 2015, Hawaii set a goal for 100% of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2045, making it the first state to set a legally required deadline. It also created an Energy Office and new electric vehicle programs (it now ranks sixth in the nation—behind California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and the District of Columbia—in the percentage of total car and truck sales that were EVs. Hawaii  adopted California’s appliance efficiency standards, plus climate taxes on fossil fuels, and programs to encourage green industry. Its Climate Commission created  three working groups centering around equity, transportation, and legislation to properly serve Hawaii’s community. To help reduce its reliance on petroleum, they implemented the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative to displace 70% of petroleum-based ground transportation fuels with non-fossil fuels by 2030.

Hawaii has no natural gas, no coal, no hydropower potential, and no nuclear capacity. Its islands are further from a major land mass than any other island chain on earth forcing the state to rely on energy that’s easy to ship in — mainly petroleum (more than 69% of Hawaii’s energy comes from shipped-in petroleum, making it the most petroleum-dependent state in the US)  but also coal which provides 13%. The only energy generated in Hawaii itself is renewable with solar making up more than half of its renewable energy resources, followed closely by wind, biomass, and geothermal. Nearly all of Hawaii’s utility-scale battery storage capacity is installed with onshore wind turbines or solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, allowing excess electricity from those generators to be stored and used later. As of January 2020, about 30% of Hawaii’s total generating capacity is solar or wind. Without storage, wind and solar generators can only provide energy when the sun is out or the wind is blowing. By storing excess output from wind and solar power plants, batteries can provide electricity during times of low wind and solar output and reduce the need for other forms of generation.

Hawaii is currently looking to the ocean for new sources of renewable energy, making the state hub for tidal and ocean thermal energy.

Hawaii is a special case when it comes to energy consumption.  Because of its mild climate, Hawaii ranks among the 5 states with the lowest total energy use. The transportation sector accounts for more than half of all energy consumed in Hawaii.

Hawaii is one of twenty five states committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

Governor warns of impending insurance crisis while approving Maui fires aid

By Daryl Huff 05/04/24
Gov. Josh Green on Thursday raised more fears of an insurance crisis in Hawaii and said with climate change increasing the risk of disaster, the state has to be prepared.
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Green forms team to address disasters and climate change

By Andrew Gomes 05/04/24
Gov. Josh Green is enlisting experts and advocates to help pass future legislation addressing disaster and climate change issues.
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Symbrosia Harvests Seaweed in an Innovative Strategy to Slow Climate Change

By Ryann Coules 05/02/24
Symbrosia harvests seaweed, but not for human consumption. The company’s product, SeaGraze, is sprinkled into the feed of cows and other livestock.
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Climate Litigation Update: From Hawaii to Switzerland

04/14/24
In the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, both climate litigation and climate activism were listed, for the first time, as ways to potentially mitigate climate change (in other words, actually…
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Big Oil is quietly paying state legal officials to kill climate litigation

By Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin 04/11/24
At the Society of Environmental Journalists conference this year, we heard about a promising legal case that experts believe actually has a real shot at holding the fossil fuel industry accountable for climate change.
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Hawaii braces for intensified brush fire season amid climate change concerns

By Paul Drewes 04/08/24
As temperatures heat up for summer, brush fire season will also ramp up in Hawaii.
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Hawai’i Develops an Assessment and Implementation Plan to Strengthen the Climate Resilience of its Highway System

03/20/24
Hawai’i’s characteristics make it distinctively vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As an archipelago in the tropics, Hawai’i contends with sea level rise, annual high wave flooding, tsunamis, coastal erosion, and storm surges. Increased…
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In Hawaii, coral is the foundation of life. What happened to it after the Lahaina wildfire?

By Audrey McAvoy 03/03/24
Abraham “Snake” Ah Hee rides waves when the surf’s up and dives for octopus and shells when the water is calm. The lifelong Lahaina, Hawaii, resident spends so much time in the ocean that his…
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Headed to Hawaii on vacation? Tourists may need to pay a climate tax. Here’s what to know

By Jeremy Yurow 02/19/24
If Hawaii Gov. Josh Green has his way, your next vacation to the Aloha State will cost an extra $25.
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Surprising Solidarity in the Fight for Clean Water and Justice on O’ahu

By Libby Leonard 02/19/24
In late November 2021, in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, 19,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked from the U.S. Navy’s underground fuel tanks at Red Hill into one of the island’s main drinking water aquifers. It poisoned the…
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Tesla battery system officially replaces state’s last remaining coal power plant: ‘This is a landmark milestone’

01/31/24
As reported by Electrek, a Tesla Megapack battery system replacing Hawai'i's very last coal power plant is officially live. Hawai'i has the highest solar capacity deployed per capita. But the sun doesn't shine 24/7, so…
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A huge battery has replaced Hawaii’s last coal plant

By Julian Spector 01/10/24
Hawaii shut down its last coal plant on September 1, 2022, eliminating 180 megawatts of fossil-fueled baseload power from the grid on Oahu — a crucial step in the state’s first-in-the-nation commitment to cease burning…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Governor Josh Green outlines diverse energy strategies for hawaii’s renewable goals

04/26/24
Governor Josh Green outlined alternate energy ideas to help the state reach its renewable energy goal: Using 100% renewable energy by 2045.

Hawaii’s Ambitious Renewable Energy Plan Is Threatened By HECO’s Uncertain Future

04/24/24
Hawaii’s renewable energy sector is stepping up support for policies aimed at financially bolstering Hawaiian Electric Co., which has been battered by accusations that the utility started the fire that killed 101 people and burned…

How changes to Hawaiʻi’s home battery program could hinder its clean energy transition

03/08/24
Hawaiʻi’s main utility is poised to radically revise how it compensates households for the power their batteries send to the grid, a move critics fear will stunt the potential for using that energy to prevent…

Communities in Hawaii and Alaska Exchange Ideas To Engage Residents in Energy Transitions

03/01/24
When the third cohort of Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) communities was announced in 2023, the inclusion of Molokai, Hawaii, caught the eye of Bri Gabel, a sustainability coordinator for the City and Borough…

City Council lays out official strategy for climate change prevention on Oʻahu

03/01/24
Honolulu has adopted Climate Ready Oʻahu, the city’s first-ever climate adaptation strategy.

Ameresco Inc. selected for firm renewable energy project on Maui

02/03/24
With a goal to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil for power generation, on Friday, Hawaiian Electric selected Ameresco Inc. to develop a firm renewable energy project on Maui.

The Promise and Perils Of Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Revolution

01/31/24
Alert visitors flying into Honolulu’s international airport might spot row after row of suburban rooftops covered with twinkling solar panels. Once they disembark, they can hail an electric vehicle plied by an Uber driver. Traversing…

This state is quickly becoming America’s clean energy paradise. Here’s how it’s happening.

01/29/24
Americans don’t have to imagine what it’s like to live someplace that’s aggressively switching to 100% clean energy, where 1 in 3 people have rooftop solar, 15% of new cars are electric and giant batteries…

Hawaii used rooftop solar to shore up the grid. New rules threaten that

01/18/24
For a moment there, it looked like Hawaii had found the ideal resolution to the rooftop solar wars raging around the country.

A huge battery has replaced Hawaii’s last coal plant

By Julian Spector 01/10/24
Hawaii shut down its last coal plant on September 1, 2022, eliminating 180 megawatts of fossil-fueled baseload power from the grid on Oahu — a crucial step in the state’s first-in-the-nation commitment to cease burning…

Hawai‘i’s Sustainability Heroes: Shifted Energy

09/18/23
Olin Lagon was on the board of the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative in 2014 when the state committed to generating 100% of its power from renewable energy by 2045. But he grew concerned that many…

Hawaii Must Heed The Powerful Warnings Of Climate Change

09/12/23
In the wake of the recent wildfires that swept through Lahaina and Kula, we are reminded of the urgent need to bolster our efforts towards climate resilience and disaster mitigation.

Hawaii prepares for Triton-C wave energy converter

09/04/23
US-based Oscilla Power is making strides in renewable energy with its innovative Triton-C wave energy converter. The 100kW system, designed for remote communities and isolated power-at-sea applications, has been relocated to the Wave Energy Test…

Hawaii quit coal one year ago. Here’s how it’s been going

08/31/23
In the last three weeks, Hawaii’s electric grid has made headlines for horrifying reasons. Early evidence indicates that power lines owned and maintained by for-profit utility Hawaiian Electric sparked the ferocious brush fire that killed…

Maui fire will reshape Hawaiian Electric

08/21/23
Lahaina has forevermore been transformed by fire, and it looks like the company that provides electricity to 95% of Hawaii residents will be too

Maui’s Fires and the Electric Grid

08/18/23
The deadly fires in Maui last week are still being investigated, and there may have been more than one contributor. But one culprit that seems to be emerging is the tradeoff the local utility had…

Hawaiian Electric Prioritized State-Mandated Green-Energy Push over Wildfire Prevention, Ex-Energy Officials Claim

08/17/23
As calls mount to investigate Hawaiian Electric in the wake of the state’s worst wildfire ever, reports have emerged showing that the company was aware of vulnerabilities within its system that could contribute to such…

How Solarize808 and the Hawai‘i State Energy Office Are Helping Hawai‘i Residents Reach Affordable and Accessible Renewable Energy

08/16/23
The Hawai‘i State Energy Office is working with local solar programs to allow affordable and accessible renewable energy to Hawai‘i residents.

Is Hu Honua’s Energy Future Tied To Hydrogen?

08/03/23
Hawaii County’s push to jumpstart a hydrogen economy on the Big Island is raising questions about what role, if any, Hu Honua might play in getting that industry off the ground.

HECO study: Renewable energy alone won’t get Hawaii to its net zero emissions goal

07/22/23
Renewable energy generation on its own is not enough to meet zero emissions in Hawaii by 2045, according to a new report from Hawaiian Electric.

Hawaii’s Clean Energy Transition Faces Steep Hurdles, Study Finds

07/21/23
Aggressive action must be taken by all sectors of the state’s economy if Hawaii wants to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 as mandated by state law, according to a new study commissioned by…

Native Hawaiians reclaim energy sovereignty

05/30/23
On the Hawaiian island of Moloka‘i, a group of volunteers is tirelessly working toward 100% locally owned clean energy.

How will Hawaii reach its clean energy goals? ‘We just have to be committed’

05/25/23
What will it take for Hawaii to meet its mandate of producing 100% clean energy by 2045?

Hawaiian Electric renegotiates renewable energy contracts

05/23/23
Hawaiian Electric on Monday announced it had renegotiated three of four existing renewable energy contracts at fixed rates on Hawaii island. Read more

Hawaiian Electric amends three renewable energy contracts on Hawaii Island

05/22/23
Hawaiian Electric recently announced it has renegotiated three renewable energy contracts — Puna Geothermal Venture, Hawi Renewable Development, and Wailuku River Hydroelectric — to be at fixed rates, which will result in "long-term savings" for…

Blessing held for Big Island’s largest renewable energy project with 94,000 solar panels

05/19/23
The Big Island’s largest renewable energy project, with 94,000 solar panels on 300 acres in Waikōloa, was blessed on Thursday with Hawai’i Gov. Josh Green in attendance.

Oil to renewables: Hawaii utility aims to transform 85-year-old power plant

05/19/23
Hawaii's largest electric utility aims to transform an 85-year-old oil-fired power plant into one that will run on renewable energy.

Hawaiian Electric Plans More Renewable Energy Integration in Net Zero Plan

05/18/23
Hawaiian Electric has submitted its “Integrated Grid Plan: A pathway to a clean energy future” to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), detailing the steps the company will take to achieve net zero carbon emissions and…

Hawaii Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Big Island’s Hu Honua Power Project

03/13/23
In a searing rebuke to Hu Honua, the Hawaii Supreme Court has denied the company’s appeal of a Public Utilities Commission decision, saying the state was correct to reject the biomass project’s bid to operate…

Amid green energy boom, HECO seeking more ‘firm’ renewable sources

03/09/23
Hawaii’s green energy boom has largely been fueled by the solar power and wind farms. But Hawaiian Electric Company is now seeking more “firm” renewable sources such as biofuels, geothermal and trash-to-energy. Hawaiian Electric Vice…

Hawaiian Electric announces five shared solar projects

03/02/23
Hawaiian Electric recently announced it has selected one project on Oahu and four projects on Hawaii Island in the second phase of its shared solar, or community-based renewable energy, program.

Renewable Energy Projects Are Back On Track After Pandemic Lull

01/17/23
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii’s efforts to reshape its energy economy stalled. Widespread supply chain issues hindered the development of large-scale solar projects, a key component of the state-mandated requirement to produce all electricity with…

Utilities move ahead with Hawaii’s first two community solar and storage projects on Moloka’i

01/16/23
The Moloka’i Island projects have combined output of 2.45 MW community solar and 11.1 MWh storage systems.

New solar, battery farm on Oahu will generate enough electricity to power 7,600 homes

01/13/23
Construction on Oahu’s second utility-scale solar and battery farm is complete.

‘The community is outraged’: Renewable energy project on Kauai could face legal action

01/11/23
For the past four years, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) has been finalizing a 3,600 page environmental assessment of its West Kauai Energy Project (WKEP).

Green creates $100 million climate impact fund

01/11/23
The climate impact fund will go toward preserving the state's natural resources and fighting climate change, according to Green. His office will go after federal and private investments in solar, energy efficiency, and energy storage…

Hawaii mandates time-of-use rates to decarbonize grid

11/08/22
Hawaii becomes the first state to require utilities implement a time-of-use rate scheme aimed at pushing electricity consumption to hours of high solar power production. (Canary Media)

Hawaii Closes Its Last Coal-Fired Power Plant

By Elena Shao 09/02/22
Hawaii shuttered its last remaining coal-fired power station on Thursday, a major milestone in the state’s ambitious effort to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. The station, the AES Hawaii Power Plant near…

Hawaii lawmakers pass bills to protect natural resources, mitigate climate change impacts

By Kathryn Doorey 07/12/22
"The ten bills, and the budget adopted by the 2022 Legislature, will make meaningful changes to protect Hawaii's natural resources, from the top of Mauna Kea to our oceans, “ said District 7 Representative David…

State lawmakers want a detailed plan for transition to 100% clean energy by 2045

01/07/22
State lawmakers are asking for a detailed plan on how the state will transition to clean energy by 2045. Senators were briefed on a budget request by the Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism…

How to address climate locally? These 6 places have plans

01/05/22
While much of the nation’s attention to climate adaptation has focused on large coastal cities with outsize risks, some of the most forward-leaning climate policies are coming from less urbanized places such as Marina, Calif.;…

Parker Ranch to break ground on solar farm to supply clean energy to Hawaii Island

12/23/21
A ranch on Hawaii Island is working on a solar project to supply clean, renewable energy to 15,000 homes. Parker Ranch said it will break ground early in 2022.The 300-acre solar farm near the ranch’s…

New incentives push Hawaiian Electric toward more clean energy

06/25/21
A portfolio of incentives that went into effect today will guide Hawaiian Electric as it operates under a new business model that emphasizes Hawaii’s clean energy goals.

In Pro-Microgrid Move, Hawaii Becomes Second State with Microgrid Tariff

06/03/21
In what could be a model for other states, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a microgrid tariff for its major utilities. The decision is the culmination of a roughly two-year process, but…

Hawaii: Renewable Future

03/15/19
Hawaii has made great inroads in increasing the amount of locally produced renewable energy. With a goal to generate 100 percent clean energy by 2045, the state will continue to:Align government regulations and policies with…

Preparing for Climate Change in Hawaii

07/30/19
On June 9, 2014, Hawai'i Governor Neil Abercrombie signed House Bill 1714 (now Act 83) establishing an Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee charged with developing a sea-level rise vulnerability and adaptation report addressing statewide impacts through 2050. In…

KEY RESOURCES

Hawaii Temperature

05/19/22
The Overeaching goal of the HCDP is to provide streamlined access to high quality reliable climate data and information for the State of Hawai'i

Hawaii Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

01/10/22
Hawaii is one of the leading states for solar energy in the country, thanks to its abundance of sunshine. Plus, electricity rates in the state are among the highest in the US. Investing in solar…

Hawaii State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/23/21
The Hawaiian Islands chain stretches more than 1,500 miles across the central Pacific Ocean, from the largest island, Hawaii, in the southeast to the Kure Atoll in the northwest. The eight main islands and the…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Breaking Legal News in Hawaii: Home Sellers Must Now Disclose Sea Level Risks

08/11/21
It’s a sign of the coming times. Hawaii’s Senate Bill 474 has amended the state’s flood hazard disclosure rules for residential real estate. Disclosures now must include sea level rise exposure, in alignment with hydraulic…

Rigorously Valuing the Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

04/30/21
The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Hawaii

09/19/20
By 2050, Hawaii’s sea level could rise by 3 feet, putting thousands of structures at risk and making parts of the islands inaccessible.

Hawaii’s climate leadership

08/10/20
After setting its decarbonization goal, Hawaii accelerated its renewable energy transition by creating an Energy Office and new electric vehicle (EV) programs and adopting California’s appliance efficiency standards.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Hawaii

07/31/20
Hawaii is vulnerable to warming and acidifying oceans, shoreline loss and species loss

Hawaii Renewable Energy Projects Directory

03/15/19
Find and learn about renewable energy projects in Hawaii.

Climate Change in Hawaii

07/30/19
The Aloha state of Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,600 miles west of California. As the only state in the United States that is an island, Hawaii is unquestionably…

State of Hawaii Climate Change Portal

07/24/19
Hawai`i is a small state with big ambitions and big actions–especially when it comes to addressing climate change. In response to the Paris Agreement, Hawai‘i created the Hawai`i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission (aka State Climate Commission).…

The Cost of Climate Change in Hawaii

09/06/18
The world is literally changing and here are six issues we need to understand so we can begin calculating the costs and consequences of climate change and prepare for them. We won’t be able to…

MORE NEWS

Native Hawaiian salt makers combat climate change and pollution to protect a sacred tradition

By Deepa Bharath   01/04/24  
On a warm summer afternoon, Tina Taniguchi was on her hands and knees scraping dirt off an oblong depression in the ground. Thick brown hair peeked out from her coconut leaf hat. Splotches of mud…
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There Are Nearly 2,500 Climate Lawsuits. This Is the One to Watch.

By John Culhane   11/20/23  
Climate change lawsuits have now joined the ranks of impact litigation. Just as claims against the tobacco industry led to a major transformation in the way cigarette sellers were required to do business, and claims…
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Honolulu climate case against oil cos can go to trial -Hawaii top court

By Brendan Pierson   11/02/23  
Hawaii's highest court has allowed a lawsuit by Honolulu accusing fossil fuel companies, including Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp and Shell Plc, of deceiving the public about climate change to go ahead to trial.
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Hawaii Sen. Hirono: ‘We very much need acknowledge that climate change is upon us’

09/29/23  
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono tells CNN's Jake Tapper that too many government officials "still have a head-in-the-sand attitude" about the threat from climate change.
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Inside the complex effort to rid Maui of toxic fire debris and rubble

By Reis Thebault   09/25/23  
One of the most complicated wildfire cleanup missions in recent memory is now underway on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where fleets of workers and equipment are being shipped to the island while officials plot…
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Hawaii’s Climate Future: Dry Regions Will Get Drier, Wet Areas Will Get Wetter

By Kevin Hamilton   09/18/23  
The islands of Hawaii are world renowned for their generally pleasant and tranquil weather. However, the Aug. 8 wildfire tragedy on Maui was a stark reminder that Hawaii also can experience drought and hot, dry,…
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Gov. Green represents Hawaii at UN summit, urges global action on climate change

By HNN Staff   09/18/23  
Gov. Josh Green represented Hawaii on a global stage in New York to promote the role of local government in sustainable development.
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Hawaii Travel Update: Governor Suggests Charging ‘Climate Impact Fee’ To Visitors To Prevent Future Disasters

By Will McGough   09/16/23  
Unlike Maui’s Mayor Richard Bissen, who is under fire for dodging questions, Green has made himself widely available and has spoken at length on a number of hot topics.
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Hawai‘i’s Sustainability Heroes: Makena Coffman

By Tori Dejournett   09/15/23  
Makena Coffman spent a lot of time outside while growing up in Kāne‘ohe, which she says helped feed her lifelong passion to preserve the environment.
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Hawaii high court asked to rule in AIG climate change case

By Judy Greenwald   09/06/23  
A Honolulu federal district court is asking the Hawaii Supreme Court to rule on whether the pollution exclusion applies to greenhouse gases, in a case involving a coverage dispute between an oil company and American…
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FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s Latest Actions to Support Communities Impacted by Maui Wildfires

08/30/23  
Since the onset of the unprecedented wildfires on Maui, Hawaiʻi, President Biden launched a whole-of-government effort to support survivors and affected communities, and as soon as Hawaiʻi Governor Josh Green requested a Major Disaster Declaration,…
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Tropical Storm Hilary and Maui Fires Show Climate Change is Worsening Homelessness

By Justin Worland   08/24/23  
More than 170,000 people in California are unhoused. Even as the state has poured resources into combating the problem, the number of people without homes has ticked upward in recent years. On the surface the…
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More than 800 people still listed as missing from Maui wildfires

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske   08/22/23  
Some 850 people are still missing after the wildfires that torched parts of Maui and devastated the historic town of Lahaina, according to local officials, with 85 percent of the disaster area searched as of…
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Hawaii governor agrees climate change ‘amplified the cost of human error’ on Maui fires

By Lindsay Kornick   08/21/23  
Climate change “amplified” the failures of officials to act properly on the Maui wildfires, Hawaii Democratic Gov. Josh Green suggested on Sunday.
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Why was there no water to fight the fire in Maui? | Naomi Klein and Kapuaʻala Sproat

By Naomi Klein and Kapua 'ala Sproat'   08/17/23  
All over Maui, golf courses glisten emerald green, hotels manage to fill their pools and corporations stockpile water to sell to luxury estates. And yet, when it came time to fight the fires, some hoses…
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Desperate families turn to sticky notes seeking missing Maui fire victims

By Tom Hays   08/17/23  
The sticky notes began collecting on an easel outside the Lahaina fire evacuation center in Wailuku, Maui, as soon as it opened last week.
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Hawaii’s climate future: Dry regions get drier with global warming, increasing fire risk − while wet areas get wetter

By Kevin Hamilton   08/16/23  
The islands of Hawaii are world renowned for their generally pleasant and tranquil weather. However, the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfire tragedy on Maui was a stark reminder that Hawaii also can experience drought and hot,…
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First, a Ferocious Fire. Now, a Slow, Grim Search for the Dead.

By Tim Arango   08/16/23  
DNA specialists who have been working with Ukrainian investigators to document suspected Russian war crimes. Veterans of the post-Sept. 11 search at ground zero. Anthropologists who were enlisted to examine human remains after the California…
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After Maui’s Wildfire Horror, Residents Search for a Way Forward

By Damien Cave   08/16/23  
As Vene Chun guided his Hawaiian canoe to shore past tourists learning to surf at one of Maui’s public beaches, his thoughts were a jumble.
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Maui is suing Big Oil

08/15/23  
The county is seeking to recover the costs of climate-fueled disasters Big Oil knowingly caused — including increasingly destructive wildfires.
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99 Killed In Hawaii Fire And 1,300 Missing As Governor Warns Death Toll Expected To Rise

By Robert Hart and Mary Whitfill Roeloffs   08/15/23  
The death toll from wildfires on Maui is nearing 100 as teams continue to search through the rubble caused by the country's deadliest wildfire in a century, destroying the historic town of Lahaina and causing…
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Power lines likely caused Maui’s first reported fire, video and data show

By Brianna Sacks   08/15/23  
At 10:47 p.m. last Monday, a security camera at the Maui Bird Conservation Center captured a bright flash in the woods, illuminating the trees swaying in the wind. “I think that is when a tree…
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See the historic sites of Lahaina before and after the Maui wildfires

By Justine McDaniel and Ben Brasch   08/12/23  
Plantation-era wooden buildings turned to ashes. Landmarks made from coral, lava rock and concrete hollowed out by flames. A once-quaint historic street blackened and wrecked.
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Maui fires not just due to climate change but a ‘compound disaster’

By Scott Dance   08/12/23  
As scientists weigh the influence climate change may have had in fueling Hawaii’s wildfires, there isn’t one standout factor they point to. Rising temperatures likely contributed to the severity of the blaze in several ways.…
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After 5 hours in ocean, Maui fire survivor feels ‘blessed to be alive’

By Joanna Slater   08/12/23  
In the dark, cold water off Lahaina on Tuesday night, Annelise Cochran clutched one of her neighbors for warmth, both women shivering and struggling to breathe through the smoke and fumes. Cochran felt like she…
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Native Hawaiians organize aid for Maui fire victims as government lags

By Reis Thebault   08/12/23  
The boats kept coming. One by one, cruisers and catamarans eased toward the beach in Kahana, a small and tightknit neighborhood just north of Maui’s hardest-hit areas.
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Hawaii underestimated the deadly threat of wildfire, records show

08/12/23  
When Hawaii officials released a report last year ranking the natural disasters most likely to threaten state residents, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic hazards featured prominently. Near the bottom of a color-coded chart, the state emergency…
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Cascading environmental impacts feared from ‘wasteland’ of Maui fires

By Kate Selig   08/11/23  
In the wake of the devastating Hawaii wildfires, experts fear a broader environmental catastrophe is only just starting to unfold.
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This Maui center houses some of the world’s rarest birds. Staff saved it from the flames.

By Dino Grandoni   08/11/23  
The wildfires raging on Maui came to the doorstep of an endangered bird center, with staff rushing to extinguish flames before they crept to aviaries housing some of the rarest birds in the world.
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Column: As Lahaina mourns tragedy, another crisis is coming

By Anita Chabria   08/11/23  
She’s the chair of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and she was evacuated from a mountain enclave during the recent blazes — waking up at 3 a.m. to the blare of a cellphone alert. She…
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How the Maui Wildfires Became So Destructive, So Fast

By Eric Roston   08/11/23  
At least 55 people are dead and hundreds of homes incinerated after tail winds from a hurricane stoked wildfires on Maui. Much of Lahaina, once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was destroyed, with…
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How a perfect storm of climate and weather led to catastrophic Maui fire

By Susanne Rust, Hayley Smith and Dorany Pineda   08/11/23  
Drought. Howling winds. Plummeting humidity. Tinder-dry grass. A historic city of exposed wood structures in a thirsty rain shadow. To a Californian, many of the factors that appear to have coalesced into a catastrophic fire…
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How Climate Change Turned Lush Hawaii Into a Tinderbox

By Christopher Flavelle and Manuela Andreoni   08/10/23  
The fires in Hawaii would be shocking anywhere — killing at least 36 people, in one of the deadliest wildfires in the United States in modern history. But the devastation is especially striking because of…
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What caused the deadly Hawai‘i wildfires?

By Bob Henson and Jeff Masters   08/10/23  
The deadliest and most destructive U.S. wildfires of 2023 thus far swept through Hawai‘i on Tuesday night and Wednesday, Aug. 8-9. At least 36 deaths had been reported from the fires by early Thursday, with…
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The role climate change has played in Hawaii’s devastating wildfires

By Kai McNamee and Others   08/10/23  
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Giuseppe Torri, a climate scientist at the University of Hawaii, about the role of climate change in the Maui wildfire.
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Hawaii’s youth-led climate change lawsuit is going to trial next summer

By Anita Hofschneider   08/07/23  
The 13-year-old is one of 14 Hawaii youth suing the state Department of Transportation over its role in promoting greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet. A circuit court judge ruled Thursday that the…
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Youth in Hawaii get court date for 2nd U.S. climate trial

By Lesley Clark   08/04/23  
Young people suing Hawaii’s transportation agency for contributing to climate change will go to trial next June, becoming the second group of youth in the United States to take their government to court over global…
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Climate change is turning Hawaii into a giant cesspool—literally

By Audrey MCAvoy and The Associated Press   07/06/23  
The town of Hauula packs hundreds of homes into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between verdant, towering cliffs of the Koolau mountain range and the Pacific. But the stunning views obscure an environmental problem…
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Hawaii Tackles Climate Change With a Human Rights Focus

By Nancy Cook Lauer   05/24/23  
Children’s Day was approaching, and K.T. Cannon-Eger was on task, directing the cutting of towering bamboo stalks from the thick grove at Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, affixing to them more than 250 Japanese carp windsocks…
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State acquires $26M from Biden to fund coastal climate change initiatives

By Zoe Dym   04/25/23  
The U.S. Department of Commerce is slated to give $26 million to eight climate change resiliency projects in Hawaiʻi. It’s part of the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
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Marine drones measure climate change effects to water off Hawaii

By Bruce Crumley   04/07/23  
Three semi-autonomous uncrewed marine drones have set sail from Honolulu for a six-month mission collecting data off the coasts of Hawaii’s larger islands to measure the acidic effects of climate change on nearshore oceanic environments.
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Climate change suit by Hawaii keiki advances

By Timothy Hurley   04/07/23  
A Circuit Court judge ruled Thursday in favor of a lawsuit by 14 Hawaii youths claiming the state Department of Transportation is violating their constitutional rights by not doing enough to curb the emissions that…
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This will be the world’s first ever climate trial of a state transportation system

04/01/23  
“These 14 youth are making history. For the first time ever on our planet, these young people in Hawaiʻi are holding their state transportation department accountable for its actions that worsen the climate crisis and…
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Congresswoman Jill Tokuda Talks Story with Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau

03/27/23  
On Saturday, Feb. 25, more than 40 attendees gathered around the Grove Farm conference table for a talk story with Congresswoman Jill Tokuda about the future of Kaua‘i’s agricultural sector, hosted by the Kaua‘i County…
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Biden creates two new national monuments in Nevada and Texas

By Steve Holland   03/22/23  
U.S. President Joe Biden created two new national monuments, in Nevada and Texas, on Tuesday and launched an effort to consider expanding protections for all waters around remote Pacific islands southwest of Hawaii.
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Restoration of Award-Winning Kaanapali Beach Canceled

03/19/23  
The only U.S. beach that ranked #1 recently on the world’s best list will apparently not be restored. At least so went Friday’s decision by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Board. The…
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The Shift To A Green Energy Future Is Renewing Plantation-Era Water Wars On Kauai

By Brittany Lyte   03/16/23  
Wesley Yadao, 71, farms 5 acres of taro in a region of Kauai where generations of families have tended the starchy root vegetable in wet paddies fed by the Waimea River. His tough-knuckled hands betray…
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Cleanest Cities In America: Top 5 Pristine Places In The U.S., Per Experts

By Stephanie Vallette   02/28/23  
In the cleanest cities in America, smog is sorely lacking. Not every city can claim the infamy of dirtiest cities in America. Sure, clean cities don’t have air as thick as homemade gravy, they’re not…
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State commission supports $100 million climate fund

02/20/23  
The 20-member Hawaii Climate Commission voted on Thursday to support Hawaii Gov. Josh Green’s proposal to create a $100 million climate fund to continue the state’s adaptation and mitigation efforts to combat climate change.
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Frustrated landowners push back against state’s ‘managed retreat’ approach to rising seas

By HNN Staff   02/07/23  
Citing advances in erosion control technologies, a coalition of oceanfront property owners are urging the state to give them more weapons in their battle against beach erosion.
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