On Tuesday, Democrat Gov. David Ige made history by signing into law two bills that incorporate certain portions of the Paris climate agreement. He told reporters, "Our island communities lead the way when it comes to climate change impacts and policies. We also need to be first when it comes to creating solutions. We see the impacts of our actions very close to home."
The new laws will enforce some of the most important parts of the Paris treaty. Act 032, formerly known as Senate Bill 559, will help enact mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state in a way that aligns with the goals of the accord.
Meanwhile, Act 033, which was known as House Bill 1578, establishes the Carbon Farming Task Force. The committee is tasked with looking into different agricultural and aquacultural practices that can be implemented to promote carbon sequestration (the process of storing atmospheric carbon monoxide in order to mitigate climate change).
"The measure adopted relevant sections of the Paris agreement as state law, which gives us legal basis to continue adaptation and mitigation strategies for Hawai‘i, despite the Federal government’s withdrawal from the treaty,” said state Sen. J. Kalani English, who introduced one of the bills, in a press release.
It's now only a matter of time before other states follow Hawaii's lead and begin legally supporting the Paris climate agreement.
If you want to support the Paris climate accord and join the fight against climate change click here to learn about ways you can help.