Honolulu (July 5, 2007)- The Hawaii state legislature has passed The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2007, distinguishing Hawaii as the second US state after California to place a cap on greenhouse gases (GHGs). The law, which took effect on July 1, establishes a state policy to bring Hawaii’s greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. The legislation contains strong language linking climate change to GHGs.
“The scientific evidence is now compelling that recent climate change is caused at least in part by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, which has driven atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to their highest levels in 420,000 years,” the bill says.
The bill charges the state Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism with updating a list of all sources of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2008. The Hawaii Department of Health will be responsible for enacting rules to limit GHG emissions.
A 10 member GHG Emissions Reduction Task Force comprised of four members from business, two state department heads, two University of Hawaii representatives and two environmental group members will have until the end of 2009 to develop a plan for “maximum practically and technically feasible and cost-effective reductions in GHG emissions.” The task force must deliver to the 2010 Legislature its plan and regulations for accomplishing the reduction.
Hawaii House of Representatives
Environmental News Service