Hawaii Enacts Law Expanding Climate Strategies in Alignment with Paris Agreement

In a first for U.S. states, Hawaii Gov. David Ige last week signed two bills that codify commitments and goals of the Paris Agreement.

According to the governor’s office, Ige signed SB 559, which expands strategies and mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide. The bill text states that Hawaii will reduce energy use and adopt renewable energy, using the best available science, technologies, and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with the climate change principles and goals adopted in the Paris Agreement and Hawaii’s share of obligations within the expectations apportioned to the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, regardless of federal action.

“[SB 559] 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,” Sen. J. Kalani English, who introduced SB 559, said in a June 6 statement.

The governor also sign HB 1578, which establishes the Carbon Farming Task Force within the Office of Planning to identify agricultural and aquacultural practices to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration.

In addition, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and representatives for Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, and Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho signed a statement declaring their commitment to continued support of the Paris Agreement.

Lead image credit: Office of Gov. David Ige | Flickr

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