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Climate Change Law and Policy in Hawai‘i

Hawai‘i is currently experiencing climate change, evidenced by: 

• Increases in air temperature, especially at high altitudes;

• Decreased stream base flow;

• Decreases in rainfall and rain intensity, with longer periods of days without rain;

• Rising sea levels;

• Ocean acidification; and 

• Increased sea surface temperature,9 leading to more frequent and severe coral bleaching events.

Hawai‘i legislators, planners, and decision-makers have taken preliminary steps to: (i) mitigate climate change, i.e., reduce anthropogenic, or human caused, greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and (ii) adapt to climate change, i.e., decrease vulnerability and increase resiliency to climate change effects—both of which are recommended for lessening climate-related risks. The purpose of this briefing sheet is to provide an overview of climate change related law and policy in Hawai‘i. The briefing sheet examines mitigation measures, adaptation measures, and concludes with a summary and timeline.

A pdf of the breifing can be found here: Climate Change Law and Policy in Hawai‘i

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