Kauai, Hawaii, Joins National Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change

County Urges EPA to Use Clean Air Act to Cut Greenhouse Gas Pollution

LIHUE, Hawaii / November 15 — Kauai has joined more than 40 other U.S. communities in calling on President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to use the Clean Air Act to cut greenhouse gas pollution that is raising the risk of extreme weather events and worsening climate change. The Kauai County Council passed a resolution Wednesday, joining a broad range of cities such as Detroit, Nashville and Salt Lake City as part of the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.

Island Kauai, Na Pali Coast

Island Kauai, Na Pali Coast © Julius Silver

“Climate change could devastate our coastal lands and river valleys, so we’re eager to see the Clean Air Act used to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said KipuKai Kuali’i, the Kauai County Councilmember who spearheaded the Clean Air Cities resolution.

“Kauai’s leaders understand the threats posed by climate change, particularly to islands like Kauai, and support one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Communities around the country, from Miami to Los Angeles and now Kauai are sending an urgent message to our national leaders. To avert a climate crisis, we need to act now and through the Clean Air Act.”

Hurricane Sandy, dubbed the “Frankenstorm,” has drawn renewed attention to extreme weather concerns, and climate change will exacerbate Hawaii’s severe weather events, according to scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Climate change also threatens Hawaii’s environment and economy by raising air and sea surface temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and increasing ocean acidification.

Kauai, one of the Obama family’s favorite vacation spots, is likely to be increasingly vulnerable to climate change’s effects. About 75 percent of the island’s beaches are eroding, according to one University of Hawaii expert, and rising sea levels and powerful storm waves threaten Kauai’s low-lying communities, as well as critically important wildlife habitat.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Albany and Ithaca, N.Y.; Berkeley, Santa Monica, Culver City, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Keene, N.H.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Cambridge and Northampton, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa and Gulfport, Fl.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; and Detroit, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind., and Woodbridge, N.J. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Source: CBD