Office of the Governor – News Release – Governor Green Addresses United Nations Sustainable Development Summit

Posted on Sep 17, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases








September 17, 2023

HONOLULU – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today spoke at the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, updating attendees about the Maui wildfires and telling them, “We are no longer anticipating the destructive effects of climate change — we are now fully enduring them.”

Governor Green addressed Hawai‘i’s efforts to implement policies to achieve the UN’s SDGs and the importance of local leadership to achieve the goals by 2030.

“There is no town, city, or human community on earth that is safe from the kind of extreme weather fueled by climate change that we experienced in Hawai‘i last month,” Governor Green said. “We are in this together — we are all part of one interconnected and interdependent global community.”

Governor Green stated Hawai‘i’s commitment to moving forward with a higher standard, as reflected in the Aloha+ Challenge and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We urge our friends and neighbors in the global community to join us in our commitment to renewable green energy systems, protecting and strengthening our energy grids, and investing in solutions and technologies that can help reverse climate change,” he said. 

This is the second time Governor Green, along with Hawai‘i Green Growth, has addressed a United Nations summit. He first presented at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development July 12, providing the only state-level Voluntary Local Review on implementation of the UN’s 17 SDGs, contained in the Aloha+ Challenge.

Kamehameha Schools students opened the session with an oli that rang out through the chamber. Later, the Kamehameha Schools Kaʻāmauloa Pathway students presented the second Voluntary Local Review (VLR) in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. This report, drafted in partnership with public and private stakeholders, provided a comprehensive overview of Hawaiʻi’s progress and challenges toward meeting the SDGs. 

“The leadership displayed by the students from Kamehameha Schools is nothing short of remarkable,” said Governor Green. “Their dedication to sustainability and their role in presenting the second VLR in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi to the United Nations is a testament to the bright future of Hawaiʻi and the global community.”

Hawaiʻi Green Growth CEO Celeste Connors said, “Hawaiʻi and island economies understand the challenge of achieving a safe, equitable, and resilient future against the backdrop of climate change. They can help the rest of the world navigate towards a more sustainable path for island earth based on their experiences.”

Tomorrow, Governor Green and the Hawaiʻi Green Growth delegation will participate in a panel titled “American Leadership on the SDGs” as part of the Brookings Institution/UN Foundation Event. The 20-minute moderated fireside chat will be led by Tony Pipa of Brookings and will provide a platform for in-depth discussions on the critical transitions required to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The panel discussion will be at 2 a.m. HST and is in-person only, with no livestream available.

Today’s remarks by the Governor and video of the Hawai‘i Green Growth delegation are available via UN Web TV.

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Media contacts:

Erika Engle

Press Secretary

Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i

Phone: (808) 586-0120

Email: [email protected]


Makana McClellan

Director of Communications

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi

Cell: (808) 265-0083

Email:  [email protected] 


Patrick Branco

Director of External Affairs and Communications

Hawaiʻi Green Growth

Cell: (808) 230-9457

Email: [email protected]


About the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. They address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.

About Hawaiʻi Green Growth:

Hawaiʻi Green Growth (HGG) is a public-private partnership that brings together government, business, and community leaders to advance sustainability and resilience in Hawaiʻi. HGG works to integrate the Aloha+ Challenge, a statewide sustainability framework, with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure Hawaiʻi’s long-term well-being and resiliency.