Maui News

McKelvey Lauds Bills on Carbon Farming and Climate Change

June 5, 2018, 1:25 PM HST
* Updated June 6, 10:30 AM
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Maui State Rep. Angus McKelvey (far left) along with Reps Jarett Keohokohole, Chris Lee and Matt LoPriesti assist Governor Ige as he signs the various measures to combat climate change and jump start a green economy into law.

Governor David Ige on Monday signed three bills that set a carbon-neutral goal by 2045, create a carbon offset program and require a sea-level rise analysis in environmental impact statements.

State Representative Angus McKelvey of West Maui was on hand to celebrate the signing after serving on committees that pushed the measures forward.

He said sea level inundation is having an impact on the island’s beaches, the Honoapiʻilani Highway and homes and condos near the shoreline.  He said “it just makes sense” to finally take a proactive approach to adapting to sea level rise so that more buildings are not approved in future tidal zones.

“I want to thank Representative Lee for sponsoring these measures and seeing them through because nowhere is this hitting home but in my district of Lahaina,” said McKelvey.

Photo Courtesy Office of Governor David Ige

The signing took place at the legendary “Point Panic” surf spot on Oʻahu.  McKelvey said it was a great backdrop to the high surf which is inundating sections of the Honoapiʻilani Highway and said that was why he was such a strong advocate of HB2106 which requires a sea level rise analysis in environmental impact statements before building projects.

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Another key piece of legislation for Maui, according to McKelvey was HB 1986, which creates a framework for a carbon offset program that allows for carbon credits through global carbon sequestration protocols.

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McKelvey said “This could not only help create a green investor economy in Hawaiʻi but be a key stimulus to create economic growth through reforestation of areas making it more viable to pursue capturing carbon through reforestation and carbon farming rather than development, such as near Māʻalaea,” McKelvey said of the area in his district.

Another measure approved into law was HB2182 which makes Hawaiʻi carbon neutral by 2045 and establishes the Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force. “This continues our steadfast commitment to upholding the tenants of the Paris Accords despite its abandonment by the federal government,” said McKelvey.

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