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  • Ron Kotrba

Pacific Biodiesel’s Kelly King invited to COP26, appointed to EPA advisory committee

Kelly King, cofounder of Pacific Biodiesel and councilmember for the Maui county government in Hawaii, is one of just two U.S. delegates from the international nongovernmental organization ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability invited to participate in the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Your leadership speaks for itself, and your standing as a female leader in the Pacific Islands is especially important,” wrote Angie Fyfe, executive director of ICLEI USA, in her invitation to King, according to Pacific Biodiesel. “Yours is a voice we want to have heard around the world from Glasgow.”


King said, “I’m overwhelmed and honored to be invited to represent at COP26. It’s also a great responsibility, which I don’t take lightly, and I hope to convey the dire needs of our island communities around the globe.”

King was also appointed to the U.S. EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee recently. King and 33 others were selected from more than 150 nominees. The announcement was made by EPA Administrator Michael Regan in August.

The 39-member committee provides independent policy advice to the EPA administrator on important environmental issues impacting local governments and their residents.

“I take seriously this opportunity to provide guidance on environmental and climate change impacts to local governments, proactive rather than reactive infrastructure, promotion of circular economies and methods to improve quality of life for communities big and small,” King said. “As the only appointee from Hawaii, it is my privilege and great responsibility to provide our islands a voice and representation at the table.”

King also serves on the Hawaii State Association of Counties’ executive committee, as a member of the Maui Nui Food Alliance Steering Committee, and on the board of directors for ICLEI USA and the National Association of Counties’ Western Interstate Region.

She chairs the Maui County Council’s Climate Action, Resilience and Environment Committee, and King has authored legislation to express the council’s support for sustainable tourism, a transition to a circular economy, the Paris Climate Accord, and the THRIVE (Transform, Heal and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy) Agenda.

King has long been an advocate of the circular economy and community-oriented sustainability, whether in farming, recycling, or energy production like biodiesel. In the council’s annual budget sessions, she continues to advocate for recycling, wastewater reuse, open-space acquisition, smart growth, and environmental protection.

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