Three bills that establish policies and programs to address climate change and position Hawai‘i to be a national leader in sustainability and clean energy were signed into law today.
House Bill 2182, now Act 15, makes Hawai‘i the first state in the nation to commit to a zero-emissions clean economy and sets 2045 as the target date for achieving that goal. Hawai‘i aims to achieve “carbon neutrality” by sequestering more carbon and greenhouse gases than it produces, thus creating a net zero carbon footprint.
HB1986 (Act 16) encourages companies to reduce fossil fuel emissions by establishing a carbon offset program that allows for carbon credits through global carbon sequestration protocols and uses the funds from the sale of carbon offset credits to be deposited into the forest stewardship fund or invested into projects to improve the State’s water infrastructure to mitigate threats to water sustainability due to climate change.
HB2106 (Act 17) requires a sea level rise analysis in environmental impact statements before building projects. Act 17 became effective upon the Governor’s approval on June 4. The other two, HB2182 and HB1986, take effect July 1st of this year.
One year ago, Hawai‘i became the first state in the nation to enact legislation aligning with the Paris agreement to combat climate change with the signing of SB559 (Act 32) and HB1578 (Act 33).