HONOLULU (KHON2) — A conference was held at the East-West Center on Monday, Jan. 9 to highlight existing actions and the possible next steps to ensure readiness for the effects of climate change.

Hawaii is the only state in the nation whose legislature has declared a climate emergency; and before today’s event, Gov. Josh Green spoke on Wake Up 2day about what he will do to address this issue during his term.

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“Hawaii should lead. It has been leading on climate change. We’ve had expectations set very high for a decade now because we know we’re gonna go to 100 percent renewable. I will announce today that we do intend to set aside $100 million to address climate impacts in Hawaii,” explained Green.

Leah Laramee, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Coordinator, said “we also have some amazing speakers from the state, the University of Hawaii. Some of the counties joining us today looking at a variety of different issues that climate change has caused the state as well as the solutions and how we’re going to address that in the future.”

Concerns that will be talked about are community cooling, shorelines and youth action.

Scott Glenn, Office of Planning and Sustainable Development incoming Director, said, “the decisions we make not only this week but over the next four years under governor Green will be a major impact on how their lives play out. So, the more we can involve youth voices today and through this week and over the next four years, the more people will have a say in how their life moves forward.”

With the legislative session Wednesday, Jan. 18, committees are giving a preview of what’s to come.

“So, we’re looking at a number of measures related to energy efficiency and also clean transportation, so trying to reduce the emissions associated with cars and transit,” said Rep. Nicole Lowen, Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.

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Events will be taking place throughout the week here at East-West Center Jefferson Hall.