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Hawaii Governor Sets up Climate and Disaster Team to Develop Resilience Policy

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green has formed a Climate Advisory Team (CAT) made up of experts and stakeholders to deal with the challenges of climate disasters and to build a roadmap for the state’s strategy to mitigate the financial impact of global warming.

The team is tasked with forming a climate-resilience policy, drawing from diverse perspectives, including climate science experts, business and financial experts and legal professionals. As one of its first projects, the CAT will recommend steps to create a durable fund to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to develop a structure to resolve claims related to future disasters.

Their work is expected to include:

  • Work with third-party experts to model and analyze the risk of natural disasters and wildfires for Hawaii and to create an actuarial analysis to size any go-forward fund;
  • Develop a customized go-forward fund structure and related claims settlement mechanics;
  • Evaluate and determine sources of funding;
  • Issue a report or roadmap to the governor outlining findings and suggestions, including potential legislation.

Green said he is placing more emphasis on the importance of climate resilience efforts as the state recovers from the fire that tore through the heart of Lahaina on Aug. 8, 2023, killing 101 people.

More than half a year after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century burned through a Maui, officials are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong and how to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. However, two recent reports are filling in some of the blanks.

Maui’s mayor in March said he is prioritizing housing, evaluating evacuation routes and hiring more firefighters as his Hawaii community recovers.



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