Hawaii’s Gov. signs carbon neutral goal law to combat climate change

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed three bills that set a carbon-neutral goal by 2045, create a carbon offset program and require a sea-level rise analysis in environmental impact statements.

“Climate change is real and we’re seeing its impacts right now in our island state. Taken together, this suite of bills establishes policies and programs that acknowledge and address this reality,” Ige said.

HB2182 — Makes Hawaii carbon neutral by 2045 and establishes the Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force. HB 2182 becomes Act 15 and takes effect on July 1, 2018.

“One year ago, Hawaii became the first state to adopt a law aligning with the Paris agreement to combat climate change. Today we take the next step and pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2045, the same year we expect to reach our goal of generating 100 percent of our electricity from clean, renewable sources,” he said.

HB1986 — Creates a framework for a carbon offset program that allows for carbon credits through global carbon sequestration protocols. HB 1986 becomes Act 16 and takes effect on July 1, 2018.

“We see tremendous potential for restoration, protection and management of forest areas in Hawaii to offer cost-efficient climate change mitigation. That’s why this framework for capturing carbon through reforestation and carbon farming is an important step forward,” he said.

HB2106 — Requires a sea level rise analysis in environmental impact statements before building projects. HB 2106 becomes Act 17 and takes effect upon approval.

“Sea level rise is already having an impact on beaches, roadways and homes near the shoreline. As a result, we face difficult land-use decisions, and requiring an analysis of sea level rise before beginning construction is just plain common sense,” he said.

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