Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has signed an executive order creating the Climate Change Resiliency Commission that would develop an integrated strategy to build resiliency against the adverse effects of climate change and to reduce contributing factors such as greenhouse emissions.
“We are seeing the harmful effects of climate change right here on our island, from erosion to brush fires, degradation of coral reefs, pollution, scarce agricultural resources, and increasing intensity of natural disasters. This initiative will coordinate our response to climate change to institute meaningful policies that will protect our natural resources and environment. The time to act is now,” Leon Guerrero said.
According to Executive Order 2019-19, the commission is tasked with developing and coordinating an effective, data-based response to climate change, focusing on eight key climate change outcomes:
Energy – including renewable energy, conservation, and aviation, surface transportation and maritime fuel sources;
Water Resources – including aquifer protection, surface water resources, water quality, conservation, and drought preparedness;
Ocean and Land Resources – including coral reefs, fisheries, forestry, mangroves, plant and wildlife ecosystems, tourism and recreational water use, and erosion control;
Infrastructure and Community Resiliency – including tropical storm preparedness, rising sea levels, coastal infrastructure and development, storm water management, hardening of important public and private sector facilities and infrastructure, coastal erosion and construction standards;
Development Planning – including land use planning, economic development planning, transportation systems, recycling, and solid waste management;
Food Security – including food distribution systems, agriculture, fishing and aquaculture;
Public Health and Safety – including hazards to human health and safety resulting from rising temperatures, changing disease vectors, and increased risks of brushfires; and
Greenhouse Emissions and Carbon Footprint – including pollution control, green economy alternatives, re-vegetation for carbon uptake, and expanded use of green infrastructure.
“Even the smallest action can leave a lasting imprint on our environment. I ask the community to rise up and do your part to protect our environment, whether it’s picking up litter at the beach, planting a tree, properly disposing or recycling trash, or reducing power and water consumption. When we all do it together, these small steps will make a huge difference for our island,” said Lt. Gov.Joshua Tenorio.
The Climate Change Resiliency Commission will comprise six members. The Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on the Environment is additionally requested to participate as a member. Appointments to the Climate Change Resiliency Commission are pending and will be announced once finalized.