Mayor signs proclamation supporting Paris Agreement
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. today signed a proclamation in support of the Paris Agreement. The signing took place at the Kaua‘i Energy Conference, which was held at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club.
“The impacts of climate change can be seen all over the world and we need leadership to address this major challenge,” said the mayor. “Although Kaua‘i is a small island, we believe it is our responsibility to take a leadership position on climate change mitigation, and we are strongly committed to staying on course to build a more sustainable and resilient future for our community and beyond.”
Mayor Carvalho was joined on stage for the ceremony by Department of Education District Superintendent Bill Arakaki, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) President/CEO David Bissell, Kaua‘i Community College Chancellor Helen Cox, along with several high school students.
The mayor said that the county has been preparing for the inevitable impacts of climate change for a number of years.
“In 2013, we signed a memorandum of understanding with KIUC to accelerate the island’s transition to clean energy,” said Mayor Carvalho. He noted that the changing out of the county’s streetlights to LED lights is expected to save taxpayers approximately $400,000 annually.
The County of Kaua‘i is also working to reduce emissions from its facilities and fleet. Some of the projects that have been completed thus far include the installation of a magnetic bearing chiller in the Līhu‘e Civic Center, efficiency improvements at the wastewater treatment plants, the addition of electric vehicles to the county fleet and the launch of a county motor pool.
Additionally, the county’s climate mitigation efforts are reflected in the General Plan Update, which contains policies and actions for flooding, erosion and sea level rise.
Last week, Mayor Carvalho joined the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, a network of nearly 200 U.S. mayors. The group is working together to strengthen efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to support efforts for binding federal and global policymaking.
Earlier this month, representatives of the four Hawai‘i counties gathered at the State Capitol when Gov. David Ige signed two bills that support the commitments and goals of the Paris climate accord.
In 2014, Mayor Carvalho, along with the governor, other county mayors, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, State Legislature and a number of public/private partners from diverse sectors launched the Aloha+ Challenge.
The leadership team made a statewide commitment to achieve six integrated goals by 2030 that focus on clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, waste reduction, smart sustainable communities, and green workforce and education.