Buliding for Climate Change
When we talk about the costs of climate change, we often default to large-scale terms, such as how much it will take to maintain roads, protect the airports or keep Waikiki from disappearing. That is crucial. [...]
An analysis of the costs associated with climate change is not complete without accounting for the ways in which the economy, in response to climate change, can also grow. Hawaii has become an innovation center for hydrogen powered vehicles, seawater air conditioning, renewable energy battery storage systems, microgrids, hydroponics, aquaculture, watershed management and other entrepreneurial or nonprofit ideas that seek to replace what we lose with what we can gain.
These efforts are supported from the top. In 2015, Gov. David Ige committed the state to using 100 percent renewable sources to generate all of our electricity by 2045. In 2016, Hawaii was the first state to enact legislation implementing parts of the Paris agreement on climate change. And earlier this year, Ige signed a bill committing the state to becoming fully carbon neutral, also by 2045. [...]
[Dawn Lippert, CEO of the Elemental Excelerator] adds that contrary to the stereotype, the majority of clean energy jobs are not for Ph.D.s and MBAs. “Of the million and a half solar jobs in the country, most are electricians, technicians, roofers and other blue-collar jobs. When people think of the innovation economy, they should absolutely include these trade jobs,” says Lippert. [...]
“One of the things we’re focused on is how to have the environment and economy work together – not be seen as opposites or come at the cost of each other,” says state Office of Environmental Quality Control director Scott Glenn.
“Buliding for Climate Change”, Noelle Fujii-Oride, Hawaii Business Magazine, 2018.