OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR NEWS RELEASE: GOVERNOR IGE SIGNS SUITE OF BILLS TO HELP REACH GOALS OF UPDATED HAWAI’I 2050 SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

Posted on Jul 2, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today signed seven bills that will help the state achieve the long-term vision articulated in the newly updated Hawaiʻi 2050 Sustainability Plan.

“I applaud the Legislature’s focus on sustainability issues this session. We are united in our commitment to statewide sustainability and climate adaptation. We take these actions today without compromising the ability of future generations of Hawai‘i to thrive,” said Gov. Ige.

The signed bills are:

HB767  RELATING TO THE FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM

HB817  REALTING TO AGRICULTURE

SB512   RELATING TO SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INCENTIVES

HB243   RELATING TO SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION

SB474    RELATING TO REAL PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

HB683   RELATING TO SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL

HB1176 RELATING TO A JOB CORPS PROGRAM

 

FOOD SUSTAINABILITY:

Three of the signed bills will help create demand for local food products that will benefit both growers and consumers, supporting the Ige administration’s goal of doubling local food production.

HB767 establishes a farm-to-school goal of 30% local products by 2030.

HB817 requires and establishes benchmarks for each state department to ensure that a certain percentage of the produce purchased by that department consists of fresh, local agricultural products or local value-added, processed, agricultural, or food products.

SB512 allows SNAP recipients to continue using the popular Double Up Food Bucks program to buy fresh and healthy foods that are locally grown.

 

ADDRESSES IMPACTS OF SEA LEVEL RISE:

Two of the signed bills will help the state plan and prepare for sea level rise.

HB243 requires state agencies to identify existing and planned facilities that are vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding, or other natural disasters and develop a plan to minimize the impacts of these threats. The state will lead by example and take the necessary steps to ensure resiliency in the face of climate change.

SB474 requires that anyone selling a home must disclose if the property lies within a sea level rise exposure area. This bill puts Hawai‘i on the leading edge of addressing coastal erosion impacts.

 

DIVERSIFYING THE ECONOMY WITH INNOVATIONS IN SUSTAINABILITY:

Two bills support the state’s effort to diversify the economy through sustainability. There is an opportunity to create new economic activity and skilled jobs through innovation and addressing the many challenges posed by climate change.

HB683 establishes a sustainable aviation fuel program to support businesses in Hawai‘i that develop products related to reducing the greenhouse gas impacts of commercial aviation.

HB1176 creates a green jobs program focused on nurturing the workforce we need to meet our climate change goals. This is an important effort as we pivot our economy toward new emerging sectors.

 

In addition, Gov. Ige announced that the 10-year update of the Hawai‘i 2050 Sustainability Plan has been completed. The update will guide the crucial 2020-2030 Decade of Action declared by the United Nations, to accelerate sustainable solutions for the world’s biggest challenges. The update will also serve as the state’s climate and sustainability strategic action plan.

One of the first priorities is to promote a sustainable economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our vision includes a diversified economy that is rebuilt sustainably, not a simple return to business as usual. We see increased self-sufficiency, green job opportunities, investment in our communities, in education and people, and investment in local infrastructure,” said Gov. Ige.

The plan also recommends these additional focus areas for 2020-2030:

  • Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Improving Climate Resilience
  • Advancing Sustainable Communities
  • Advancing Equity
  • Institutionalizing Sustainability Throughout Government
  • Preserving the Natural Environment
  • Perpetuating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Values

“The Hawai‘i 2050 Plan furthers my Sustainable Hawai‘i Initiatives, which aim to protect Hawai‘i’s watersheds and nearshore waters, prevent, detect and control invasive species, double local food production, and reach 100 percent renewable energy use in the electricity sector by the year 2045. The bottom line is – we have a collective commitment to meeting Hawai‘i’s sustainability and climate goals,” said Gov. Ige.

“Without action, climate change will cause irreversible damage. I wholeheartedly support these bills being signed today, because in just ten years I hope to be living in a better, healthier, and more sustainable island home,” said Sariah Banks, sophomore, and student senator of the Associated Students of Mililani High School. “Enacting these laws and launching these plans will protect our ecosystem, help local agriculture and promote green job opportunities. We are the future. And we need the government, businesses, and organizations throughout Hawai‘i to protect our islands and our future.”

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