Gov. David Ige signed three bills this morning at Point Panic that combat climate change in the Hawaiian isles.
“Climate change is real and we’re seeing its impacts right now in our island state,” said Ige, as surfers and boaters enjoyed the surf behind him. “Taken together, this suite of bills establishes policies and programs that acknowledge and address this reality.”
Ige signed House Bill 2182, which makes Hawaii carbon neutral by 2045 and establishes the Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force. HB2182, authored by state Rep. Chris Lee (D, Kailua-Lanikai-Waimanalo), becomes Act 15 and takes effect on July 1.
He also signed House Bill 1986, which 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. The Hawaii State Legislature passed the bill unanimously this session.
“One year ago, Hawaii became the first state to adopt a law aligning with the Paris agreement to combat climate change,” said Ige. “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.”
Ige also signed House Bill 2106, which requires a sea level rise analysis in environmental impact statements before building projects. HB2106 becomes Act 17 and takes effect upon approval. Ige said with sea level rise already having an impact on Hawaii’s beaches, roadways and homes, requiring an analysis of sea level rise before beginning construction is “just plain common sense.”
The entire signing was posted live on Gov. Ige’s Facebook page.
Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho was present for the signing, along with Will Okabe, Hawaii County’s managing director, state Land Board Chairwoman Suzanne Case, and many key stakeholders, including Henk Rogers, founder of the Blue Planet Foundation.