Quantcast

Hawaii Becomes First State to Formally Adopt Paris Climate Pledge

Popular

Hawaii is making our planet great again in the wake of President Donald Trump's controversial announcement last week that he's pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

On Tuesday, Gov. David Ige signed two bills that formally enacted portions of the landmark climate pledge into law, making the Aloha State the first in the nation to legally support the global pact.


SB 559 "expands strategies and mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide in alignment with the principles and goals adopted in the Paris agreement," and HB 1578 "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."

"Hawai'i is committed to environmental stewardship, and we look forward to working with other states to fight global climate change. Together, we can directly contribute to the global agenda of achieving a more resilient and sustainable island Earth," Ige said in a statement. "The Hawai'i 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."

Ige noted at the signing ceremony Tuesday at the state capitol that Hawaii is seeing the impacts of climate change first-hand.

"As an island state, we are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment. We see the impacts of our actions," he said. "In this day and age, it is time for states and governors to lead."

Ashley Lukens, the director of the Hawai'i Center for Food Safety, one of the groups that helped champion HB 1578, praised the governor's actions.

"We are thrilled to see the state of Hawaiʻi investing in practices and people that promote a resilient and healthy climate, food and water future," Lukens said. "President Trump may have pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, but Hawaiʻi is on the frontlines of climate impacts and we remain committed to action. Establishing a Carbon Farming Task Force is a major step forward on the path to a stable climate and secure food future, and we hope to see other states moving ahead regardless of Washington."

An increasing number of states across the country are rebelling against President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accord, which was agreed upon by nearly 200 countries in 2015. California Gov. Jerry Brown, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are assembling a coalition of states to challenge Trump.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Individual standing in Hurricane Harvey flooding and damage. Jill Carlson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis

Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Read More Show Less
A pregnant woman works out in front of the skyline of London. SHansche / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.

Read More Show Less
Ten feet of water flooded 20 percent of this Minot, North Dakota neighborhood in June 2011. DVIDSHUB / CC BY 2.0

By Jared Brey

When Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle last October, it killed at least 43 people, caused an estimated $25 billion in damage and destroyed thousands of homes.

Read More Show Less
A protestor holds up her hand covered with fake oil during a demonstration on the U.C. Berkeley campus in May 2010. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Forest fire continues to blaze in Indonesesia on Sept. 18. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Indonesia over their possible connections to the massive wildfires raging in the nation's forest, officials said this week.

Read More Show Less

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.

Read More Show Less
Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

Read More Show Less