Hawaii sticks to Paris Agreement

The state of Hawaii has enacted a law that supports the commitments and goals of the Paris Agreement one week after the announcement that the United States plans to pull out of the climate change accord.

In a show of support for the Paris Agreement, Governor of Hawaii David Ige and Hawaii’s county mayors and representatives gathered on June 6, 2017, for the signing of two bills and a mayors’ agreement that support the commitments and goals of the Paris climate accord.

Governor Ige signed an act which expands strategies and mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide in alignment with the principles and goals adopted in the Paris agreement.

According to the Hawaiian government, it is the first state in the US to enact legislation that implements portions of the Paris agreement, following the June 1 announcement by the President Trump of his intention to withdraw from agreement.

“The measure 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,” said Senator J. Kalani English, senate majority leader who introduced the act.

Governor Ige said: “Hawaii is committed to environmental stewardship, and we look forward to working with other states to fight global climate change. The Hawaii State Legislature understands the importance of taking action, and I applaud its work this session to ensure that we continue to deliver the island Earth that we want to leave to our children.”

In addition, Governor Ige signed another act 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 – the capture and long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide to mitigate climate change.

Under the Paris Agreement, which came into force on November 4, 2016, the consenting nations have agreed to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future that will keep a global average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius with the accepted international aim of working to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.