Hawaii Rebuffs Trump, Adopts Paris Agreement Goals Anyway

Alvin Kelly
June 14, 2017

On Tuesday, North Korea's foreign ministry blasted Trump for his decision to withdraw the USA from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, removing the world's second-largest emitter of global warming pollutants from the treaty.

On behalf of Oglethorpe University located in Brookhaven, GA, President Lawrence Schall has joined a group of some 1,220 governors, mayors, business, investors, colleges and universities who are declaring their intent to uphold a commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

"Hawai'i is committed to environmental stewardship, and we look forward to working with other states to fight global climate change", the governor said in a news release.

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A Cambodian official has said US President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement is "unethical" and "irresponsible". David Ige (D) said at a press conference on Tuesday, ahead of signing the two bills into law.

Senate Bill 559 expands the state's strategies and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He says tides are getting higher, biodiversity is shrinking, coral is bleaching and coastlines are eroding.

The law commits the state to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to align with the principles and goals of the Paris Agreement. "That is why Hawaii is united in its political leadership on tackling climate change".

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Dozens of mayors across the United States have also committed themselves to meeting the terms of the agreement.

Ige also signed a bill Tuesday to form a task force to study how agriculture and aquaculture in Hawaii can help sequester carbon dioxide.

Former President Barack Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shake hands as the USA formally joins the Paris climate agreement in 2016.

The accord's mandate is to reduce the global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

While announcing his controversial decision, Trump said he was motivated by a campaign pledge to put American workers first.

The U.S.is now one of just three countries worldwide to be either outside the agreement or on their way out, with Syria and Nicaragua as the other two nations.

"When we get the LNG ports built in the United States, 20 of which Mr. Obama was holding up the permits for, we'll be able to get that [natural] gas out of the country, improve the balance of our payments, and that will take the pressure off the United States coal industry".

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