Editorial: Zero-emission vehicles on rise

March 11, 2021 - Aligning with the state mandate to generate 100% of electricity sales from renewable resources by 2045, Hawaii’s counties have signed off on commitments to switch public and private ground transportation to using only renewable fuel sources by that same year.

The only realistic chance utilities and local governments have for meeting these deadlines hinges on steadily pushing transition to an economy that’s less dependent on fossil fuels. That’s why the Legislature’s green-energy work must continue to move forward, even as it also grapples with matters related to COVID-19 and other priorities.

Last week the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board met with the Blue Planet Foundation, a public- policy group focused on finding and supporting creative ways to step up renewable energy use in Hawaii. In comparing the coronavirus threat with that posed by climate change, the nonprofit rightly pointed out that battling both requires government intervention as well as changes in culture.

While danger tied to COVID-19 infection has prompted necessary quick pivots in public-health protocols that changed daily habits and routines, most environmental perils linked to global warming are advancing in less abrupt ways. Still, dramatic changes are needed to significantly reduce Hawaii’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions while also building an energy future for the state that’s more self-sustaining and resilient.

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