On Wednesday Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced his nomination of Aimee Kelii Barnes to the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

If confirmed by the state Senate, she would replace Samuel Gon III and begin serving immediately.

Ige withdrew Gon’s renomination to the BLNR in April amid some community opposition to Gon’s past support of the Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku and the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Ige had appointed Gon in 2015.

Aimee Kelii Barnes
Aimee Kelii Barnes. Diana Miller Photography

Barnes is the principal of Hua Nani Partners, a consulting practice that provides policy and strategy advice to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations focusing on climate change, according to a press release.

She also serves as the director of the Policy Lab at Elemental Excelerator, a nonprofit that supports equitable climate innovation.

“As Hawaii faces significant challenges and opportunities in mitigating the impacts of climate change on our natural landscapes, having a person of Aimee’s background is extremely important to help inform decisions and policy making,” Ige said.

Barnes, a Kailua resident, previously was appointed by former California Gov. Jerry Brown as a member of his senior staff, “leading implementation of his climate and environmental policy agenda. In this role she was responsible for California’s carbon neutrality executive order, described as ‘history’s most ambitious climate target’ at its launch.”

Hawaii and California have the same goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.

Barnes also worked at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

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