Hawaii sets ambitious goal: Carbon neutral by 2045

Hawaii sets ambitious goal: Carbon neutral by 2045
Hawaii Governor David Ige signs bills to combat climate change Monday .(Governor's Office)

HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige signed three bills Monday in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, one of which set a goal of making Hawaii a zero-emissions clean economy by 2045.

House Bill 2182 aims to make Hawaii carbon neutral in just 27 years.

"It really takes the next step," Ige said. "This measure really ups the ante and commits to a carbon neutral community here on the islands."

2045 is the same year that Hawaii expects to generate 100 percent of its electricity from clean, renewable sources.

The bill also establishes the greenhouse gas sequestration task force that will look at programs and policies to help further a goal of reducing carbon emissions.

During Monday's signing, Ige added that Hawaii was the first state to adopt a law aligning with the Paris agreement to combat climate change, and HB 2182 is the next step in honoring that.

Another signed bill, HB1986, creates a structure for a carbon offset program, which aims to restore native forests by planting trees and partnering with businesses to further environmental goals.

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

HB2106 will require sea level rise analysis in environmental impact statements before building projects. The governor said requiring the analysis is "just plain common sense," due to the oceans having impact on beaches, roadways and homes near the shoreline.

"I think, collectively, these three bills I'll be signing today continues and keeps Hawaii at the forefront in the battle in climate change and sea level rise," Ige said.

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