Center for American Progress

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Hawaii
Fact Sheet

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Hawaii

Hawaii is under increasing threat from climate change, with a projected sea level rise of 3 feet by midcentury.

Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, is in danger of being underwater in the next 15 to 20 years due to sea level rise. (GettyAndre Seale)

Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses to act to mitigate the effects of climate change—instead loosening requirements for polluters emitting the greenhouse gases that fuel the climate crisis. This dangerous agenda is affecting the lives of Americans across all 50 states.

By 2050, Hawaii’s sea level could rise by 3 feet, putting thousands of structures at risk and making parts of the islands inaccessible.

Impacts of climate change

Extreme weather


Impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies


  • In March 2020, the Trump administration announced its final rule to overturn Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars. These weakened fuel standards will lead to higher greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions and will cost Hawaii residents $44 million
  • The Trump administration is attempting to gut climate considerations from major infrastructure projects by eliminating the “cumulative impact” requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is concerning because Hawaii’s economy relies heavily on its agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries—all of which are highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.
    • Agriculture: Agriculture in Hawaii supports 42,000 jobs and generates nearly $3 billion for the state’s economy annually.
    • Tourism: Tourism is the largest single source of private capital for Hawaii’s economy. In 2019, visitors spent nearly $18 billion in the state and supported 216,000 jobs.
    • Outdoor recreation: The outdoor recreation industry in Hawaii generates 68,000 direct jobs and more than $7.8 billion in consumer spending.

Air quality

  • Mercury emissions in Hawaii decreased by nearly 34 percent from 2011 to 2017, yet the Trump administration just undermined limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions that are allowed from power plants.

To read the personal stories of Americans affected by climate change and the impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies in your state, visit

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.