What is Hawaii Doing About Climate Change?
Hawaii is one of the most beautiful and diverse places on Earth. From the stunning beaches and lush rainforests to the unique culture and traditions, Hawaii has something for everyone. But, with the increasing threat of climate change, the Hawaiian islands are in danger of losing some of their most beloved features. That is why the state has taken a proactive stance in fighting climate change and protecting its environment.
Hawaii’s Climate Change Response
In 2015, Hawaii became the first state in the United States to pass a law committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This law, known as the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Act, set a goal of reducing emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The state has also committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
Since then, the state has made strides in achieving these goals. In 2016, Hawaii became the first state to commit to the Paris Climate Agreement, a global effort to reduce carbon emissions. In 2018, the state passed a law to ban the sale of pesticides containing the harmful chemical chlorpyrifos, which is linked to health risks such as cancer and neurological damage in humans.
Hawaii is making progress in transitioning to renewable energy sources. In 2017, the state set a goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. To reach this goal, the state has been investing in a range of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, and geothermal. The state has also been making efforts to reduce energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency.
The state is also working to reduce its reliance on imported oil. In 2017, Hawaii became the first state to pass a law to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2035, with the goal of transitioning to an all-electric vehicle fleet.
Protecting the Environment
Hawaii is also taking steps to protect its fragile environment. The state has banned the use of certain types of plastic bags, as well as Styrofoam containers, in an effort to reduce waste and protect marine life. The state has also taken action to protect endangered species, such as the Hawaiian monk seal, by establishing laws to restrict fishing and protect nesting habitats.
Hawaii is taking a proactive stance in fighting climate change and protecting its environment. From investing in renewable energy sources to banning certain types of plastic and Styrofoam, the state is making strides in reducing emissions and protecting its fragile environment. As the effects of climate change become increasingly evident, it is important for other states and countries to follow Hawaii’s example and take action to reduce their own carbon emissions.
Kyle Whyte is a notable scholar and professor at the University of Michigan, holding positions such as the George Willis Pack Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and Professor of Philosophy. Specializing in environmental justice, his work critically examines climate policy and Indigenous peoples’ ethics, emphasizing the nexus between cooperative scientific endeavors and Indigenous justice. As an enrolled Citizen Potawatomi Nation member, he brings a vital perspective to his roles as a U.S. Science Envoy and member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. His influential research is supported by various prestigious organizations including the National Science Foundation, and disseminated through publications in high-impact journals. Kyle actively contributes to global Indigenous research methodologies and education, with affiliations to numerous institutes and societies dedicated to traditional knowledge and sustainability. Recognized for his academic and community engagement, Kyle has earned multiple awards and served in various visiting professorships. His efforts extend to leadership positions on boards and committees focused on environmental justice nationwide.