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Leah Stokes
Leah Stokes

Hawaiʻi has set some of the most ambitious clean-energy targets in the country, pledging to use 100% renewable energy for electricity production by 2045. In an effort to help the state navigate the transition, the University of Hawaiʻi Better Tomorrow Speaker Series is organizing a public forum with acclaimed energy expert, Leah Stokes, a professor at UC Santa Barbara and author of award-winning book, Short-Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups and the Battle Over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States.

“We are excited to welcome Leah Stokes to Hawaiʻi,” said Gov. David Ige. “Hawaiʻi is a climate leader—Hawaiʻi was the first state to commit to 100% clean renewable energy for electricity and the first state to commit to the Paris Agreement in law. And we will sequester more emissions than we emit as soon as practical, but no later than 2045. We are focused on high-impact actions and leading by example to meet these goals. We look forward to sharing our work with Professor Stokes and gaining from her expertise.”

The in-person lecture, Our Clean-Energy Future: The Case for a Faster, Bolder Transition, is free and open to the public, and will be held on Thursday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Art Building auditorium at UH Mānoa. Masking is required inside the lecture hall.

“Leah Stokes understands the existential stakes of cleaning up our electricity sector,” noted UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. “She is also an expert in crafting effective policies and moving them through the political process. We look forward to learning from her and sharing UH’s extensive research collaborations on climate and clean energy. This will be an important event.”

Trained at MIT, Columbia and the University of Toronto, Stokes has been published in top scholarly journals, as well as the New York Times, Washington Post and The Atlantic. She is a professor of political science and environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara, and also serves as Senior Policy Advisor at Evergreen Action and Senior Policy Counsel at Rewiring America.

For more information, contact the UH Better Tomorrow Speaker Series at

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