Islands Leading the Transition Toward a Green, Resilient and Equitable Future

U.S. Announces Support for Islands-led Global Initiative for Climate Solutions   

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced the United States’ support for the Local2030 Islands Network during a virtual event in support of the Leaders Summit on Climate Change hosted by President Biden this week. 

“The (U.S.) Department of State, NOAA, and Department of Energy, are supporting the Local2030 Islands Network, an innovative and peer-to-peer network that connects U.S. islands with our fellow islands around the world on local solutions and common challenges.” U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

The Local2030 Islands Network brings together a diverse set of major and emerging island economies – nations, states and communities – from all regions of the world. Through their support, the U.S. announced their commitment to partnering with small islands in their efforts to combat the climate crisis in ways that reflect their unique cultures and development challenges by building resilience in the face of a changing climate. 

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm further reinforced U.S. support to building island resilience with a focus on community-driven solutions appropriate to island-specific cultures and development challenges. 

The Network, managed by Hawaii Green Growth Local2030 Hub and the Global Island Partnership, includes U.S. islands Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Hawaii Governor David Ige joined the event to discuss the leadership of islands globally on energy and climate, and highlighted the Aloha+ Challenge, Hawaii’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework grounded in local values. In his remarks, Hawaii Governor David Ige encouraged island leaders and island jurisdictions to become involved in the innovative Network. 

“American islands are stepping up together, with islands like Guam and Puerto Rico  joining the Network in addition to the Marshall Islands and other island economies.” Hawaii Governor David Ige

Through the Global Island Partnership, the Network will connect to existing leadership from islands around the world including the Micronesia Challenge, Caribbean Challenge Initiative, and the European BEST Challenge.

 “We recently celebrated the success of the Micronesia Challenge and will be joining the Local2030 Islands Network.” President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands

The Local2030 Islands Network serves as a central resource for island-led solutions and links islands in new ways to address sustainability, climate change and clean energy issues. 

The U.S. Department of State will support this unique island-led partnership and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will work with the network and other partners to enhance the capacity of island nations to integrate climate data and information, and apply effective coastal and marine resource management strategies to support sustainable development. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Low Emissions Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP) will provide technical assistance, and support peer learning via island communities of practice.

The U.S. support of the network emphasizes the important role that U.S. islands can play in surfacing solutions and working with other islands as peers. Hawaii was recognized in 2019 as a U.N. Local2030 Hub –  a center of excellence for SDGs –  for its innovative work on local sustainability and resilience. Hawaii also pledged the first U.S. carbon neutrality target to decarbonize its energy sector by 2045. In 2019, Guam released the Guam Green Growth Action Framework, a 10-year strategy aligned with the SDGs. Other island members and partners of the network include the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Bonaire, Ireland, Curacao, and the UN Foundation.      

The April 20th  virtual event was hosted by the countries of the Friends of the Ocean and Climate and supported by the United Nations Foundation and Ocean Conservancy.  It featured remarks from 13 world leaders, including U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. The event included global leadership, actions, and commitments from diverse island communities to advance ocean-based climate solutions and the Paris Agreement. A recording of the event andcomplete list of speakers can be found here.