Hawaiʻi Becomes First State to Adopt Paris Climate Commitments

Bill supporters from Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Hawaiʻi Center for Food Safety, Young Progressives Demanding Action, and others joined Governor Ige and legislative leaders at the bill signing ceremony.

Sierra Club members joined a hundred people in the rotunda of Hawaiʻi’s Capitol to celebrate Governor David Ige signing a bill that adopts certain commitments from the Paris Climate Agreement as state goals. This makes Hawaiʻi the first state to join the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Signing this bill demonstrates the strength of local governments and communities to inspire significant positive change in the world,” said Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi. “In committing to reduce our local greenhouse gas production, Hawaiʻi is inspiring every community throughout the U.S. and the world to do its part as well.”

The Governor was flanked by representatives from each of the four counties in Hawaiʻi, who also presented proclamations committing to significantly reduce Hawaiʻi’s greenhouse gases. The bill signing ceremony attracted a hundred people from environmental agencies and advocacy groups, as well as businesses and concerned residents.

“I am here today because I know that without a habitable planet, we will not have a functioning economy,” said Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi volunteer Sai Weiss. “Hawaiʻi is joining 1,400 other communities and businesses that are doubling down on the commitment to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save our environment. This just shows that together we can save the planet.”

The bills signed today, S.B. 559 and H.B.1578, dedicate staff and funds to an inter-agency commission on climate change, outline specific goals for reducing climate-harming pollution, and establish a task force to encourage agricultural practices that capture carbon in the soil.

Photos from the event can be viewed here.