Bill sets ambitious goal to make Hawaii carbon neutral by 2045

Hawaii News Now - May 9, 2018
Olivia Peterkin

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii could be the first state to be carbon neutral, and have a zero-emissions clean economy by 2045 if a new bill passed by legislators on Tuesday becomes law.

If passed the new bill, paired with House Bill 1986, will accelerate outside investment in the state's renewable energy and clean transportation sectors, according to state lawmakers. Legislators are also hopeful that the bills will influence new investments in local agriculture.

"Fighting climate change and building a zero emissions clean economy over the next two decades means catalyzing huge opportunities for new investment, jobs and growth in our economy today," said State Representative Chris Lee, author of House Bill 2182, in a news release.

"This is the biggest step forward on climate change any state has yet taken, but we know we can do this and it's going to benefit everyone," Lee said.

“HB 2182 meshes nicely with our existing 100 percent renewable energy portfolio standards law that’s already on the books," said Sen. Mike Gabbard.

"By setting a target that we sequester more carbon and greenhouse gases than we produce by 2045, we’re creating economic opportunities and also ensuring that we do our part to fight the impacts of climate change,” Gabbard said.

Both bills are on their way to Gov. David Ige for consideration.