The organizer of a Hawaii Youth Climate Strike says several hundred students are expected to join a march and rally at the Hawaii State Capitol at 4 p.m. today to demand more action from local legislators.
Statewide, there are six strikes planned as part of the Global Climate Strike, according to Kawika Pegram, Hawaii state lead. A march is planned from Washington Place to the state Capitol and then Honolulu Hale.
“We’re talking about literally, an existential crisis happening right now,” said Pegram, a senior at Waipahu High School. “I think above all issues, climate change has to be the No. 1 issue that we tackle.”
He said Hawaii Youth are rallying statewide in solidarity with millions of people around the world in the fight for the protection and restoration of biodiversity, as well as environmental justice, the Green New Deal, respect of indigenous land and sovereignty and implementation of sustainable agriculture.
“In these times of increasing polarization of our national politics, it becomes ever-more important to unite as a people and tackle the growing climate crisis,” he said.
The youth are asking Gov. David Ige to declare a statewide climate emergency, and to establish a climate curriculum for Hawaii schools, as well Meatless Monday school lunches, along with other initiatives. They also want Honolulu officials to pass bills updating building codes to meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals, and the phasing out of single-use plastics.
On Kauai, Mayor Derek Kawakami has officially invited the public to support the Global Climate Strike and participate in a climate action pledge at a 3:30 p.m. gathering at the Lihue Civic Center Rotunda, where he will be welcoming students from Kauai Community College.
“Hawaii is on the front lines of the building climate crisis,” said Sherry Pollack, cofounder of 350Hawaii, in a news release. “We will be hit harder than any other state as the climate destabilizes. The UN IPCC report warns that we must achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030, which makes Hawaii’s current target of 2045 woefully too late. Our islands will already be under three feet of sea level rise by then. That’s why we are here today supporting these youth and demanding that our Governor, our Hawaii state legislators, and our County coucilmembers act now to set and implement emission targets that respond to climate science.”
The youth are organizing and sharing information on the strike via social media platforms @climatestrikehi.