Climate Change Resiliency Commission created

(PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has signed Executive Order 2019-19, creating the Climate Change Resiliency Commission whose aim is to develop an integrated strategy to build resiliency against the adverse effects of climate change and to reduce contributing factors such as greenhouse emissions.

According to the governor, the island is now seeing the harmful effects of climate change from erosion to brush fires, degradation of coral reefs, pollution, scarce agricultural resources, and increasing intensity of natural disasters.

She said the Climate Change Resiliency Commission will coordinate GovGuam’s response to climate change to institute meaningful policies that will protect the island’s natural resources and environment.

The Climate Change Resiliency 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, stormwater 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.

The Climate Change Resiliency Commission will be comprised of six members, with the chair of the Legislature’s Committee on the Environment additionally requested to participate as a member.

According to the governor’s office, appointments to the Climate Change Resiliency Commission are pending and will be announced once finalized.