FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 8, 2018
Contacts: Dave Mulinix, email@example.com, 808-239-8276
Brodie Lockard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 808-262-1285
Rally with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Sierra Club Executive Director
Michael Brune, in front of the Hawaii State Capitol
City Council Urged to Achieve Fossil Fuel-Free Economy
by 2030 and Ban New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
Resolution urges earlier commitment on renewables
Michael Brune, National Executive Director of Sierra Club, makes appeal
HONOLULU–September 8, 2018–Two hundred and fifty activists gathered at the State Capitol and Honolulu Hale today to prod the Honolulu City Council to move all of Oahu to renewable energy by 2030 and to ban any new fossil fuel infrastructure.
350.org, Peoples Climate Movement, Sierra Club, SEIU, Organizing for Action, Climate Nexus, GreenFaith, Oxfam America, Rainforest Action Network and many other groups worldwide held the year’s largest climate change rally Saturday, including participants from 95 countries on all seven continents. Around the globe, hundreds of thousands of people held over 900 Rise events today.
Locally, 350Hawaii is actively working with Councils in all four Hawaii counties to pass resolutions to move each county to 100% renewable energy by 2030, and actively oppose any new infrastructure involving fossil fuels. Members plan to deliver copies of the resolution and sun-shaped signs to each Honolulu councilmember next week.
350Hawaii members on Hawaii Island also held actions in Kona, Hilo and Honokaa.
Organized by 350Hawaii.org, the local event began on the Capitol lawn by Punchbowl with participants waving dozens of colorful sun and windmill signs. The main rally featured Michael Brune, National Executive Director of the Sierra Club; Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; and speakers from NOAA, the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, Hawaii Interfaith Power and Light, and other local groups fighting climate change. Dr. Jon Osorio, long-time Hawaiian cultural activist, UH professor and songwriter, spoke, and played “We Shall Overcome.” After the rally, participants marched to Honolulu Hale and signwaved to passing cars.
“We are excited to see such broad participation at such an important event,” said Brodie Lockard, 350Hawaii Founder. “There is widespread support in Hawaii for more urgent action on climate change—even from the Governor—and we are eager to work with the City Council to pass a resolution for more immediate progress. 2045 is much too late. If Minneapolis can do 2030, why can’t Honolulu?”
Councilmember Ron Menor released a statement saying, “The impacts of climate change are affecting our communities right now. We need to implement 100% clean energy solutions. The importance of building a sustainable future for Hawaii cannot be overstated.”
The event is four days before the start of California Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, which will bring leaders together from around the world to “Take Ambition to the Next Level.” GCAS, which Governor David Ige and Mayor Caldwell are attending, plans to deepen worldwide commitments and accelerate action from countries that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement. Groups expect the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, due in October, to encourage a rapid escalation of decarbonization efforts in sync with the demands of the communities holding “Rise for Climate” events today.
“350Hawaii’s focus is on asking our elected representatives to connect the dots,” said Sherry Pollock, 350Hawaii March Organizer. The state’s current target of 100% renewable energy by 2045 is woefully inadequate because much of Hawaii’s lowlands will be under water by mid century, so the state’s goal is a serious disconnect from what the science tells us. So we are asking our representatives to make a commitment and set a realistic goal of 100% clean renewable energy for all of Hawaii’s needs by 2030, and opposing all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects.”
The “Transcending Oil” report released by the Honolulu-based Elemental Excelerator in April said Hawaii can reach 100% clean energy by 2030, at less cost than the current energy mix or current Renewables Portfolio Standard, under most scenarios. The study says that “accelerating the clean energy transition will bring real economic and environmental benefits including: Increasing investment in clean energy up to an additional $2.9 billion, … Adding thousands of new good-paying jobs, … Creating a strong platform for innovation, … [and] Meeting Hawaii’s Paris Commitment.”
At least 37 U.S. cities have committed to 100% renewable energy by 2030 or earlier, including Berkeley, Denver, Orlando, Minneapolis, San Francisco, San Jose, and Spokane. Five cities have already converted to 100% renewable energy, including Aspen, CO.
Rise for Climate Hawaii included activists from 350Hawaii, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, Surfrider Foundation O‘ahu, Hawaii Interfaith Power and Light, MoveOn, Blue Planet Foundation, Chaminade Environmental Studies, Our Revolution Hawaii, The Progressive Movement Hawaii, and Refuse Fascism Honolulu.
350Hawaii.org is a local chapter of 350.org, which began in 2008 to build a global climate movement. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are coordinated by a global network active in over 188 countries. The number 350 means climate safety: to preserve a livable planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 410 parts per million to below 350 ppm. This advisory is available at http://350hawaii.org/?p=447.
Marching for Climate Justice!
Rally at Honolulu Hale (City Hall) after the Climate March
Dave Mulinix, 350Hawaii; Marti Townsend Executive Director, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i; Mayor Caldwell and Micheal Brune with Thank You card for Hawaii Little League World Champions and Mayor as Climate Champion
Honolulu faith leaders from different religious communities
Native Hawaiian Spiritual Kupuna leading a Hawaiian Wailing for different named island locations that will be inundated with flooding due to sea level rise
Young Women of the Pacific