Hawaii was the last state to join the Union, but the first to set a major milestone in combating climate change.

The Aloha State has passed a bill committing it to achieve 100 percent clean energy in just 30 years. This bold goal was motivated by rising seas, damaged reefs, and other climate change impacts already harming Hawaii’s ecology and economy.

It was also driven by sky high energy costs because Hawaii has to import all the coal and oil it uses by ship.

Hawaii’s landmark law will accelerate its already impressive growth in clean energy, which includes turning the Pacific winds, ocean waves, and sunshine into power.

Today, one in eight Hawaiian houses already has solar panels – triple the rate of any other state. But the sun’s power is still an under-utilized resource, as is geothermal energy in this volcanic hot spot.

Hawaii native Evan Weber leads the non-profit U.S. Climate Plan. Weber says this new law will catalyze change:

Weber: “Technologies are readily available and it’s really a question of implementing the solutions rather than discovering them.”

With landslide levels of government and citizen support for renewable energy, Hawaii has become one of the nation’s climate change trailblazers.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Evan Lowenstein.
Photo: Copyright protected.

More Resources
Hawaii Is Aiming for 100 Percent Energy Renewables. Can the Nation Follow?
Hawaii State Profile and Energy Estimates
U.S. Climate Plan (Hawaii)
Hawaii State Energy Office

Bud Ward

Bud Ward is Editor of Yale Climate Connections. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as Assistant Director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission on Air Quality,...