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CEO of Hawaiʻi Green Growth shares what it will take to reach the state's green goals by 2030

Celeste Connors poses at event to celebrate 11 years of Hawai’i Green Growth - a UN recognized Local2030 hub.

Hawai’i Green Growth Executive Director Celeste Connors knows how difficult COP negotiations can be.

She had first hand experience at this when she served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change for the White House under the Obama presidency. Now, as head of the United Nations Local2030 hub, her job is to ensure that local programs and policies work to keep Hawaiʻi on track with its green goals by 2030.

Connors sees climate change as the challenge of our lifetime. "There's a lot of inspiration and action that are already happening," Connors said. "And a lot of this history is building on indigenous knowledge and wisdom."

The group just convened a gathering of the counties and other stakeholders this past month, foraging ahead with a focus on action plans and blueprints to deal with rising sea levels and global warming. The Conversation spoke to Connors as she reflected on why the talks are so important.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Nov. 18, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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