The little islands way out West of mainland US are leading the way on climate change. The state is currently the only one with a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio and now it’s become the first state in the nation to sign aspects of the accord into law as Gov. David Ige (D) signed two bills into law.
“Our island communities lead the way when it comes to climate change impacts and policies,” Ige said as he signed SB 559 and HB 1578 surrounded by county mayors and representatives and advocates. “Many of the greatest challenges of our day hit us first, and that also means that we need to be first when it comes to creating solutions. We are the testing grounds. As an island state we are especially aware of the limits on our natural environment.”
Hawaiian State Sen. J. Kalani English (D, Molokai-Lanai-East Maui) had the foresight to introduce SB 559 implementing aspects of the Paris Climate Agreement into Hawaii’s law books. The law expands the state’s strategies and tools to help it reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It builds on previous efforts and bills introduced by the legislature.
“The measure adopted relevant sections of the Paris agreement as state law, which gives us legal basis to continue adaptation and mitigation strategies for Hawaii, despite the Federal government’s withdrawal from the treaty,” English said.
The other new law, HB 1578, establishes the Carbon Farming Task Force in Hawaii. It’s job will be to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration through agricultural and aquacultural practices.
“Hawaii is committed to environmental stewardship, and we look forward to working with other states to fight global climate change. Together, we can directly contribute to the global agenda of achieving a more resilient and sustainable island Earth,” said Gov. Ige. “The Hawai‘i State Legislature understands the importance of taking action, and I applaud its work this session to ensure that we continue to deliver the island Earth that we want to leave to our children.”
Already the state’s utilities are making moves to convert to 100 percent renewable energy. Earlier this year, Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) announced plans to source 100 percent of its electricity from clean energy by 2040, five years ahead of its requirements under the state’s renewable portfolio standard.Tweet