I attended Climate Week NYC 2017 in New York last month, where I joined fellow state governors for discussions with international and national government and business leaders on climate change and our efforts to curb carbon emissions.
I participated in the summit because Hawai‘i is one of 14 states and Puerto Rico who are members of the U.S. Climate Alliance. The alliance is a bi-partisan coalition that was formed after President Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement -- a united global effort to create a safer, healthier and more prosperous planet. As the federal government has stepped back, alliance states are stepping up.
The U.S. Climate Alliance has pledged to meet its share of the Paris Agreement – greenhouse gas reduction targets, tracking progress toward those targets and accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy.
The alliance states are collectively on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 24 to 29 percent -- below 2005 levels -- over the next eight years (by 2025).
Between 2005 and 2015, alliance states reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent, compared to a 10 percent reduction by the rest of the country.
Between 2005 and 2015 – the combined economic output of alliance states grew by 14 percent (the rest of the country grew by 12 percent). On a per capita basis, economic output in alliance states expanded twice as fast as the rest of the country.
These numbers clearly show that alliance states are making great progress in reaching their targets for greenhouse gas reductions and increasing clean energy. This is great news, not only for our earth, but for our economy as we mobilize the market to innovate and create new, well-paying, green jobs.
Hawai‘i is committed to achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, and we are already on track to exceed 30 percent renewable by 2020.
I was extremely encouraged by our meetings with national and international stakeholders during Climate Week. Collaboration is a critical part of how we will move forward as a state, a nation and a global community as we address climate issues in Hawai‘i and around the world.