WAI'ANAE, Hawaii, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders from all four counties in Hawai'i gathered to pledge to transition all ground transportation in their counties off of fossil fuels by 2045, according to Blue Planet Foundation.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, Kaua'i County Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., and Hawai'i County Managing Director Wil Okabe, in the place of Mayor Harry Kim, set the target today. By signing the proclamations, the leaders have pledged to transform Hawai'i's public and private ground transportation to 100 percent renewable fuel sources by 2045.
"This goal has been one of the key missing pieces in our clean energy puzzle," said Jeff Mikulina, executive director of Blue Planet Foundation—a nonprofit committed to solving the climate change challenge by clearing the path for 100% clean energy.
While electricity generation has decreased over the past decade due to the success of the public-private partnership to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2045, gasoline and diesel use in vehicles has increased.
Setting a fossil fuel-free target is critical in the face of climate change. Ground transportation accounts for more than one-quarter of Hawai'i's imported fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Today's announcement guides Hawai'i toward more economical modes of transportation for residents, as operating and maintaining an electric vehicle costs about one-third less than operating a comparable vehicle powered by fossil fuel.
The 100 percent renewable transportation proclamations were signed on the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule'a, which recently finished its worldwide Malama Honua voyage. The voyage's call to action was resiliency and sustainability in the face of a changing climate.
The mayors of Honolulu and Maui also pledged to transition all of their fleet vehicles to 100 percent renewable power by 2035.
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 percent of Hawai'i's electricity be generated by renewable sources by 2045—the nation's first such benchmark.
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 below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"We believe this goal will send a market signal that Hawai'i is open for investment in a clean, affordable, and modern transportation future," said Mikulina. "Hawai'i just put an expiration date on fossil fuels."
SOURCE Blue Planet Foundation