Hawaii Becomes the First State to Align with the Paris Agreement!

Several Hawaii House representatives joined their colleagues from the Senate, State Administration and all four Counties today to support Gov. David Ige signing two environmental bills into law.

HB 1578, which establishes the Carbon Farming Task Force, and SB 559, which aligns Hawaii with the principles and goals adopted in the Paris climate accord, are now law.

Following President Donald J. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement last week, Hawaii is now the first state to enact laws to officially support the agreement.

“With today’s bill signings, Hawaii is all in – joining the world’s leaders, cities across the nation, businesses and individuals in combatting climate change threats, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and leading the way towards a more sustainable future,” said House Vice Speaker Rep. Della A. Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa). “The House believes that developing stronger renewable energy and sustainable farming policies is not only the right thing to do, it will also help create jobs and develop clean industries that are critical to the future of our island home.”

Rep. Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo) was one of the introducers of House Bill 1578 and said the bill establishes a process for local farmers to receive carbon credit dollars for agricultural practices that sequester carbon dioxide.

“It’s important to commit to addressing climate change, but it’s even more important that we actually take meaningful action,” said Lee, Chair of the Energy & Environmental Protection Committee. “These bills ensure local industries continue to reduce emissions and empower local farmers for sequestering carbon.”

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