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Saturday, May 4, 2024
Green 'Climate Team' Headed by A&B Exec to Lead Maui 'Recovery'
By News Release @ 5:49 PM :: 1651 Views :: Maui County, Environment, Ethics, Development, Land Use

Governor:  A&B will direct me to call Special Session to Soak HECO Ratepayers

HNN: … Gov. Josh Green on Thursday raised more fears of an insurance crisis in Hawaii and said with climate change increasing the risk of disaster, the state has to be prepared.

(Actually this is about making you pay to keep HECO from going BK.)

He said that could mean lawmakers must return to the capitol later this year….

 “What you will hear in the coming weeks and months is that insurers will not insure states like Hawaii, where there is high risk,” Green said.

(Actually this is about making you pay to keep HECO from going BK.)

Green said state must essentially be financially prepared to insure itself against disaster.

He advocates for three pieces of legislation he proposed but were rejected by lawmakers in this session: a $25 climate fee on tourists, giving HECO the power to use money from customers to borrow with state-guaranteed bonds and a state insurance fund in case insurers stop serving some condominium and homeowners.

Green said he’s forming what he calls a Climate Advisory Team, headed by former Alexander and Baldwin CEO Chris Benjamin, to analyze the risk and the costs to mitigate it.

(CLUE:  HECO is a major old-boy power center.  They don’t want to lose it and hope to make us pay to save them.)

A&B is a major landowner, including on Maui where it is a player in the island’s debate over water rights.

Hawaii News Now asked if there was a conflict of interest to having someone tied to a major landowner as head of this team.

“No,” Green replied. “He retired and he’s actually been one of our climate advisors.” …

(IQ Test: How hard are you laughing?)

The legislature adjourns tomorrow - but the Governor said if HECO destabilizes or insurers pull out of Hawaii, he may ask them to reconvene this year….

BB:  Hawaii governor's efforts to resuscitate HECO bond rescue bail fails | Bond Buyer

SA: Hawaii governor forms team to address disasters and climate change 

SA Editorial: It’s concerning that the former CEO (until 2023) of Hawaii real estate investment firm Alexander &Baldwin has been named chair.

read … Governor warns of impending insurance crisis while approving Maui wildfires recovery aid

  *   *   *   *   *

GOVERNOR GREEN ESTABLISHES CLIMATE ADVISORY TEAM TO DEVELOP CLIMATE RESILIENCE POLICY

Delivers progress update on state budget, historic tax reform, Maui wildfire recovery

News Release from Office of the Governor, May 2, 2024

HONOLULU, HI – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today announced the inauguration of the Climate Advisory Team (CAT). This newly formed committee, comprising experts and stakeholders, is dedicated to tackling the challenges of climate disasters and providing a comprehensive roadmap for the state’s strategy to mitigate the financial impact of climate change.

Under the leadership of Governor Green, the committee will play a crucial role in drafting comprehensive climate-resilience policy, drawing from diverse perspectives including Governor Green’s administration, climate science experts, business and financial experts, and legal professionals. The CAT is a testament to Hawai‘i’s commitment to maintaining stable housing and insurance markets as the risk of climate disasters grow over the next decade.

As one of its first projects, the CAT will recommend steps to create a durable fund to mitigate the impacts of dynamic climate change and to develop a fair and comprehensive structure to resolve claims related to future disasters. This is necessary to stabilize the insurance market and defray the financial burdens arising from the increased impacts of climate change. Engaging with key stakeholders, the CAT will:

  • work with third-party experts to model and analyze the risk of natural disasters and wildfires for Hawai‘i 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; and
  • issue a report and/or roadmap to the Governor outlining findings and suggestions, including potential legislation.

As Hawai‘i recovers from the devastating Maui wildfires, Governor Green emphasizes the importance of climate resilience efforts. The Governor reaffirmed his administration’s dedication to delivering a robust policy framework that prioritizes the well-being and security of residents while effectively managing state resources for a sustainable and resilient future.

The Governor also provided an update on his policy efforts, highlighting the state’s $10.4B FY25 budget and historic income tax reform. “It’s a historic moment for Hawaiʻi’s working families. The tax reform measures we will implement will bring immense relief to hardworking individuals and families,” said Governor Green. “This substantial reform will provide breathing room and allow families to allocate their hard-earned income towards other essential needs.”

Governor Green reiterated his pledge to ensuring that every individual enjoys access to safe and secure housing, a fair tax system, responsible budget, and a climate-resilient future. “I stand firm in my pledge for The Hawai‘i We Deserve. These are policies that lower the cost of living for our residents, make our taxes fairer, and commit ourselves to the climate-resilient future our state needs,” said Governor Green.

Photos from today’s event, courtesy Office of the Governor, can be viewed here.

Slide deck presented by the Governor can be found here, courtesy Office of the Governor.

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