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  • Ron Kotrba

Hawaii governor signs sustainability bills into law, including SAF grant program

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed several bills in early July intended to help the state achieve its long-term vision detailed in the recently updated Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan.

Gov. Ige

Two of the bills relate directly to local agriculture and value-added products, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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

HB683 establishes the SAF program to provide matching grants to any small business in Hawaii that is developing products related to SAF or greenhouse gas reduction from commercial aviation operations.

“I applaud the legislature’s focus on sustainability issues this session,” Ige said. “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 Hawaii to thrive.”

The 10-year update of the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan will guide the crucial 2020-’30 “Decade of Action,” as declared by the United Nations, to accelerate sustainable solutions for big challenges ahead, in addition to serving as the state’s climate and sustainability strategic action plan.

One of the first priorities of the plan is to promote a sustainable economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

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

The plan also recommends focusing on these areas in the next 10 years:

  • 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 Hawaii 2050 Plan furthers my Sustainable Hawaii Initiatives, which aim to protect Hawaii’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,” Ige said. “The bottom line is, we have a collective commitment to meeting Hawaii’s sustainability and climate goals.”

For more information, including details on the other bills signed July 2, click here.

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