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Hawai’i Mayors Pledge: 100% Renewable Ground Transportation by 2045

December 13, 2017, 10:12 AM HST · Updated December 14, 9:42 AM
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Courtesy photo.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa joined leaders from all four counties in making a pledge to transition all ground transportation in their counties off of fossil fuels by 2045.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, Kauaʻi County Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. and Hawaiʻi County Managing Director Wil Okabe, representing Mayor Harry Kim, set the new target by signing their respective proclamations.

The mayors of Honolulu and Maui also pledged to transition all of their fleet vehicles to 100% renewable power by 2035.

“It is vitally important that we chart a new course that steers us away from fossil fuel use and carbon emissions in our ground transportation,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.  “The goals we are setting today are not only desirable, but attainable, and help send a message that Maui County and Hawaiʻi are open for innovation to help ensure the greater health of our communities and the planet as a whole.”

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By signing the proclamations, the leaders have pledged to transform Hawai’i’s public and private ground transportation to 100% renewable fuel sources over the next 28 years.

The proclamations were signed on board the Polynesian Voyaging Canoe Hōkūleʻa, whose call to action during its recent historic worldwide voyage was resiliency and sustainability in the face of a changing climate.

The proclamations coincide with the state’s recent commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming in check.  The four Hawaiʻi mayors join leaders in France, Great Britain, India, China, Dublin, Madrid, Oslo, Milan, Paris, and Brussels who have also committed to transition their transportation systems away from fossil fuels.

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“The stakes are too high for Oʻahu, as well as the rest of our state.  We have to change our path,” said Mayor Caldwell.  “With this announcement we want to send a message that we welcome the next phase of Hawaiʻi’s clean energy transformation, which will not only reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel imports, but will also ensure a more resilient future.”

The four counties are the first in the nation to announce a shared commitment for such a bold goal. The proclamation builds off the historic 2015 state law that mandates 100% of Hawai’i’s electricity be generated by renewable sources by 2045—the nation’s first such benchmark.

Local businesses and clean energy organizations applauded the historic action by the four mayors.

“This initiative will spark innovation and entrepreneurship in our state,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi.  “We’ve seen how the renewable energy revolution in electricity has grown jobs and helped keep over $300 million every year in the local economy.”

“We commend the vision of these leaders in setting the course for Hawaiʻi’s sustainable transportation future,” said Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director of Blue Planet Foundation.  “This goal has been one of the missing pieces in our clean energy puzzle.”

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