Joining other governors and state and local leaders from the mainland, Governor David Ige signed legislation on Tuesday that will implement the steps outlined in the Paris Agreement in Hawaii.
“We are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment,” Ige said, as reported by NPR. “Tides are getting higher, biodiversity is shrinking, coral is bleaching, coastlines are eroding, weather is becoming more extreme. We must acknowledge these realities at home. That is why Hawaii is united in its political leadership on tackling climate change.”
Ige also set up a Carbon Farming Task Force, which will look at ways to help the agriculture industry improve soil health in Hawaii and that will examine carbon sequestration.
The bill that Ige signed wastes no time in getting to the point. It opens with this:
“The legislature finds that not only is climate change real, but it is the overriding challenge of the 21st century and one of the priority issues of the senate. Climate change poses immediate and long-term threats to the State’s economy, sustainability, security, and way of life.”
The legislation effectively makes limiting greenhouse emissions the law of the land. A commission will be created to oversee efforts at every level of the state government to help hit the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. Much of the bill’s language makes reference to the worldwide scope of the problem, and celebrates that nearly every country on earth came together to dedicate resources to fighting climate change.
While other states have pledged to adopt the Paris Agreement standards, Hawaii is the first state to make it official policy.