Climate change is real. As a business organization, we understand the importance of making our voice heard and finding common ground on how we can collectively seek solutions to address this critical issue. Policies need to be practical, flexible and predictable as the business community has a primary role to develop and build solutions. Many businesses are already taking voluntary action by investing in energy efficiency. We also recognize that clean energy spurs economic activity due to innovative technologies investments.
Yesterday, the Chamber, in partnership with Hawaii Energy, held a forum on Energy Innovation, Efficiency and Climate Change. Mayors Caldwell, Kawakami and Victorino, as well as Ron Whitmore from Hawaii County, provided an update on action in their respective counties. Governor Ige also provided welcome remarks.
Governor Ige, who just returned from the Western Governors’ Association Annual Meeting, updated attendees on his administration’s vision to lead the country in renewable energy generation and take steps to mitigate the effects of climate change. Mayor Caldwell discussed opportunities for the business community to work with the City and Country of Honolulu. And Mayors Victorino, Kawakami and Ron Whitmore presented on innovative ideas each county is enacting to encourage everyone to become involved in energy efficiency and awareness of the threat climate change poses to Hawaii. Every speaker emphasized the need to engage the business community in any solution to these pressing issues.
Inaction will come at a cost. Action is an investment that is necessary to save and build thriving communities.
(Left to right) Hawaii County Deputy Director of Research and Development Ron Whitmore, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino, City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Sherry Menor-McNamara, Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami and Hawaii Energy Executive Director Brian Kealoha
Governor David Ige discusses Hawaii’s leadership role in transitioning to renewable energy
Mayor Kirk Caldwell addresses the panel
Laulima & mahalo,
President & CEO
Many hands working together in collaboration and striving for a common goal.
Advocating for Business
Governor’s Veto Deadline Approaching
June 24th is the deadline for Governor Ige to decide which bills passed during the 2019 Legislative Session he wants to veto. If vetoed, bills will not become law unless the Legislature decides to convene a special session to override the Governor’s veto. This would require a two-thirds majority from both Chambers.
On June 17th, the Honolulu City Council held a special meeting to consider two bills relating to short-term vacation rentals. After hours of testimony the council voted in favor of both bills. Bill 89, passed 9-0 by the Council, would impose stiffer fines and regulations on vacation rentals and allows for the permitting of 1,715 new vacation rentals; however, this is only of the “hosted” bed-and-breakfast variety where the owner-occupant must be present.
Bill 85, passed 7-2, would also impose higher fines for illegal units and provide the Department of Planning and Permitting with a new enforcement tool but does not offer a path forward for any new permits. In a statement made after the Council’s vote, Mayor Kirk Caldwell indicated he would sign Bill 89 into law after a routine legal review.