Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

Hawaii Signs Legislation To Implement Goals Of Paris Climate Accord Anyway


On behalf of Oglethorpe University located in Brookhaven, GA, President Lawrence Schall has joined a group of some 1,220 governors, mayors, business, investors, colleges and universities who are declaring their intent to uphold a commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Hawaii has become the first American state to pass environmental measures that adhere to the Paris climate agreement, just days after President Donald Trump announced the U.S.

Hawaii Sen. J. Kalani English introduced SB 559, and said in the release that the signing of these two bills allows the state "legal basis" to stay in line with the Paris accord "despite the Federal government's withdrawal".

"We are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment", Ige said, as reported by NPR. "Tides are getting higher, biodiversity is shrinking, coral is bleaching, coastlines are eroding, weather is becoming more extreme". "We are both members of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, which represents more than 7,400 cities around the world committed to local climate action".

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"Reducing greenhouse emissions in Hawaii is now the law - the state law", reports Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman.

Ige also signed a bill Tuesday to form a task force to study how agriculture and aquaculture in Hawaii can help sequester carbon dioxide.

It also creates a commission to establish strategies to combat climate change and develop plans to manage the impact of rising sea levels. Hawaii is one of many USA states and cities to affirm the principles of the Paris Accord and agree to uphold the treaty despite the federal government's rejection of it. Hawaii County managing director Wil Okabe emphasized the importance of the laws' passage.

The coalition, called "We are still in", consists of over 1200 companies, educational institutions, mayors, governors, states, and investors.

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I'd like to wrap my arms around each and every one of you and tell you thank you from the bottom of our hearts for having us. After all, the performance was being live-streamed across the world so will.i.am could have been addressing London.

The governors of Washington, California and NY on the same day announced the creation of a "climate alliance" of states that would remain committed to the Paris goals.

The US is the only country ever to have left the Paris Agreement - Nicaragua and Syria never signed up in the first place. But that isn't to say that anyone, much less progressives and anti-Trump activists, should feel happy or enthusiastic about North Korea dunking on POTUS.

With Trump's withdrawal, the US joins Syria and Nicaragua as countries in the United Nations climate group not on board with the Paris climate accord.

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