Henry Curtis

Hawai`i Legislature Acknowledges Climate Emergency – Now What?

2021 Session – Hawaii Legislative Update

Clean energy, climate and zero emissions EV bills which survived the legislative blender of 2021 are now siting on Governor’s Ige desk awaiting his signature and need your support.

  • Clean Ground Transportation Goal for State Agencies

    HB552 – Establishes clean ground transportation goals for state agencies on a staggered basis until achieving a 100 percent passenger vehicle clean fleet by 12/31/2030, 100 percent light-duty motor vehicle clean fleet by 12/31/2035, and all light-duty motor vehicles in the State by 12/31/2045. New purchases of light-duty motor vehicles must be zero-emission by January 1, 2022.

  • Public Fleet Electrification

    HB424 – Requires all state and county entities, when renting a vehicle on behalf of a state employee in the discharge of official government business, to rent electric or hybrid vehicles.

  • Clean Energy Advancement

           SB1402 – Establishes a clean energy and energy efficiency revolving loan program, to be used to acquire clean energy systems, including electric vehicles.

  • HB1142 – Allocates 3 cents of the (current) fossil fuel barrel tax to fund the installation of EV charging systems and enforcement of 297-71 HRS – penalties for failure to comply with the requirement to install and maintain charging stations; authorizing penalties for improper parking in an EV charging stall; requiring that stations are maintained.

Previously published Henry Curtis article of April 27, 2021

Senator Gabbard introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 44 “Declaring a Climate Emergency and Requesting Statewide Collaboration Toward an Immediate Just Transition and Emergency Mobilization Effort to Restore a Safe Climate.”

The Senate passed a strong version of the resolution. The House passed a substantially weaker version. Yesterday, the Senate agreed to the House version.

“Based upon the scientific information and expertise available, Hawaii remains particularly vulnerable to the dangers of disaster occurrences as a result of the effects of global warming, thereby endangering the health, safety, and welfare of the people, warranting preemptive and protective action.”

“The Hawaii State Constitution adopts the public trust doctrine for the benefit of the people and the right of each person to a clean and healthful environment.”

“The Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that this body acknowledges that an existential climate emergency threatens humanity and the natural world, declares a climate emergency, and requests statewide collaboration toward an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate.”

“Entities statewide are requested to pursue these climate mitigation and adaptation efforts and mobilize at the necessary scale and speed:

 (1)  A statewide commitment to a just transition toward a decarbonized economy that invests in and ensures clean energy, quality jobs, and a statewide commitment to a climate emergency mobilization effort to reverse the climate crisis, which, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from state authorities, will transform the economy; and

(2)  Facilitation of investments in beneficial projects and infrastructure such as zero emissions energy; electric vehicles, including clean fleet transitions for the State and counties; energy efficiency; reforestation; afforestation; climate-smart agriculture; and climate-friendly land use.”

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State commits to statewide action that is rooted in equity, self-determination, culture, tradition, and the belief that people locally and around the world have the right to clean, healthy, and adequate air, water, land, food, education, and shelter.”

The Resolution received nearly unanimous support with Representative Val Okimoto voting no and Senators Kurt Fevella, Donna Mercado Kim, and Gil Riviere voting “Aye, with reservations”.

The question is, what comes next?

Resolutions — as opposed to bills — express the intent of the Legislature. Resolutions are not laws.

Historically, Hawai`i agencies chose whether to follow a resolution passed by just the House or the Senate but adhered to the ideas included in joint (concurrent) resolutions.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Join the Community discussion now - your email address will not be published, remains secure and confidential. Mahalo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *