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Obama appoints Abercrombie to climate task force


President Barack Obama has appointed Gov. Neil Abercrombie to serve on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, the White House announced Friday.

Co-chaired by Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Director David Agnew and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, the task force consists of a select group of governors, mayors and other leaders who will develop recommendations on how the federal government can better support local preparedness and resilience-building efforts.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on this task force, which will allow the State of Hawaii to have a strong voice in the national discussion on addressing the impacts of climate change,” Abercrombie said. “As the only island state in nation, Hawaii is unquestionably vulnerable to changes in climate such as rising temperatures, droughts, flooding, sea level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification.”

In conjunction with the announcement, Abercrombie introduced State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel, recently appointed by the Governor to the newly created position.

Thiel is charged with coordinating across departments and with counties, federal agencies, and community partners to support progress on Hawaii’s sustainability goals.

“The task force established by President Obama gives Hawaii a direct line to provide recommendations on removing barriers to federal resources, identifying opportunities for collaboration, and developing tools to better support our unique needs and local efforts,” Thiel said.

“Gov. Abercrombie’s congressional experience, particularly on the Armed Forces Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, as well as a senior member on the Natural Resources Committee, was cited as a factor in his selection, along with his ability to provide insight into the needs of the Asia-Pacific region,” Thiel said.

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