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With new plan and ambitious goals, city vows action to combat climate change

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With a warming planet and intensifying storm seasons, the city released its first climate action plan on Earth Day that includes an ambitious set of goals.

“This is the first time that the city has done this. We have a full on action plan and it’s so exciting,” said City Council Chair Tommy Waters.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi added he’s proud to be on the record supporting actions to fight climate change. “We are committed,” he said.

The city report shows the ways in which Oahu is not so green.

“From 2017, 2018 and 19, our islands greenhouse gas emissions, our carbon pollution has increased year over year and that’s signaling us in the wrong direction,” said Chief Resilience Officer Matt Gonser.

Now there are new goals, like reducing emissions by 45% in 2025 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2045. The plan focuses on nine strategies to reduce emissions from energy, ground transportation and waste sectors which makes up for two-thirds of Oahu’s current carbon emissions.

The city says it now has 19 new electric vehicle charging stations, reached 30% renewable energy for the first time and planted 16,000 trees last year.

City partners like Johnson Controls also replaced old lighting in buildings like the Blaisdell Center, the Honolulu Fire Department headquarters, Fasi Building and other city facilities.

“In total, there’s a 51% savings or reduction in energy usage across those buildings and facilities,” said Brody McMurtry, of Johnson Controls

The city already has new bike lanes and is moving forward with more electric buses in its fleet.

“General Motors announced by 2035 they are going to cease production of gasoline vehicles by 2035 and that date coincides with the city’s commitment to electrify its fleet,” said Roger Morton, Department of Transportation Services Director.

The action plan and annual report are available here: www.resilientoahu.org.

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