Existing climate efforts expected to keep USA goals on track

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2017

David Ige made his state the first in the nation to implement portions of the Paris Agreement on climate change into state law.

The bills' signage came with the support of four Hawaiian county mayors, who have joined hundreds of other mayors across the USA in signing a commitment agreement.

Complying with it while some of the biggest carbon emitters in the world use its loopholes to go back on their own promises would have put the United States economy at a awful disadvantage.

The momentum of existing climate-change efforts and the availability natural gas, wind and solar power mean those loyal to the Paris accord in the USA will have an easier time, with emissions expected to fall overall for years, said Robert Perciasepe with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, who worked with Bloomberg's group on the climate pledge.

North Korea's climate-change condemnation this week, of course, pivoted to slamming the United States' policy toward its nuclear weapons ambitions.

Gov. David Ige signed SB 559, which works to expand efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agreement with the worldwide agreement. They also target agricultural practices with the goals of improving soil health and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a statement from the governor's office.

"It is actually abdicating responsibility, which in the agreement, it says that all the countries have to take joint responsibility for keeping the global temperature rise below two degrees", he said.

Tek Vannara, executive director of the NGO Forum, said that Trump's "protectionism" would badly affect countries like Cambodia and urged the United States to reconsider the move.

Ige noted at the signing ceremony Tuesday at the state capitol that Hawaii is seeing the impacts of climate change first-hand.

Hawaii county representatives and mayors like Honolulu's Kirk Caldwell also signed a statement declaring their commitment toward the agreement.

After President Donald Trump decided last week to pull the United States out of the agreement, many governors and mayors vowed to uphold the goals the agreement set forth.

My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship.

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