Hawaii has become the first state to enact a law that aligns with the Paris agreement after its governor signed two bills into law Tuesday that "support the commitments and goals" of the accord, Gov. David Ige's office announced Tuesday.
The governor, as well as the state's county mayors and state representatives gathered in Honolulu to sign two bills and a mayor's agreement in support of the Paris agreement, according to a press release.
Ige signed Senate Bill 559, which "expands strategies and mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide," the release states. Ige also signed House Bill 1578, which aims to "identify agricultural and aquacultural practices to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration – the capture and long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide to mitigate climate change."
In a statement, Ige said the state of Hawaii is "committed to environmental stewardship" and is looking "forward to working with other states to fight global climate change."
"Together, we can directly contribute to the global agenda of achieving a more resilient and sustainable island Earth," Ige said. "The Hawaii State Legislature understands the importance of taking action, and I applaud its work this session to ensure that we continue to deliver the island Earth that we want to leave to our children."
Sen. J. Kalani English, the senate majority leader who introduced SB 559, said the the state law will give lawmakers a "legal basis to continue adaption and mitigation strategies" for the state, "despite the Federal government's withdrawal from the treaty."
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and representatives for other mayors in the state also signed a statement declaring continuing support for the Paris agreement.
Last week, several state governors and dozens of mayors across the U.S. pledged to uphold the guidelines set forth in the Paris Accord following President Donald Trump's announcement that he was removing the U.S. from the agreement.