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Thursday, April 22, 2021
City, State, HECO Celebrate Earth Day by Announcing Big, Big Plans for Your Life
By News Release @ 11:10 PM :: 3973 Views :: Honolulu County, Energy, Environment

Governor Ige, 11 Other Governors Issue Letter Asking President Biden to Put U.S. On a Path to a Zero-Emission Transportation Future

News Release from Office of Gov Ned Lamont, D-CT, April 21, 2022

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and the governors of 11 other states today issued a letter asking President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to put the United States on a path to ensure all vehicles sold in the country are zero-emission.

The letter asks the federal government to set standards to ensure that all new passenger cars and light duty trucks are zero-emission by 2035, and that medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles are zero-emission by 2045. It also asks for new electric vehicle tax credits, enhances existing electric vehicle tax credits, funding for investment in charging and fueling infrastructure, and other reforms.

The full text of the letter:

April 21, 2021

Dear President Biden:

As bipartisan Governors from across the country, we strongly support your efforts to improve public health, tackle the climate crisis, and advance environmental justice. Central to all three of these goals is greatly reducing pollution from the transportation sector. By establishing a clear regulatory path to ensuring that all vehicles sold in the United States are zero-emission, we can finally clear the air and create high-road jobs. Moving quickly towards a zero-emission transportation future will protect the health of all communities. The proposed investments in the American Jobs Plan can be leveraged even further by a strong regulatory framework and will allow the market for American-made zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) to flourish.

States across the country have already accelerated this transition:

California has already directed that all new cars sold in the state be ZEVs by 2035 and is investing billions of dollars as well as taking regulatory action to implement this goal.

Connecticut has committed to an ambitious electric vehicle (EV) adoption goal of putting between 125,000 - 150,000 EVs on the road by 2025. In April 2020, Connecticut released its EV Roadmap focused on transitioning public and private fleets and medium and heavy-duty vehicles to EVs through improving charging; ensuring grid reliability; integrating charging infrastructure into codes and permitting; and leveraging financial incentives, such as the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR), to help make the EV purchase price less of a barrier to consumers, including used EVs. As one of the first signatories to the Transportation and Climate Initiative MOU, if authorized by the legislature, Connecticut will have the opportunity to invest proceeds from the program into EV infrastructure, including electrifying our public transit system, driving down pollution and cleaning the air in our overburdened communities.

Ground transportation emissions are the largest share of Hawaii’s energy emissions. To meet its statutory target "to sequester more greenhouse gases than emitted as soon as practicable but no later than 2045," policies supporting cleaner transportation are critical. The State of Hawaii is leading by example and replacing state and county fleets using innovative procurement for sustainability-as-a-service to lease electric vehicles and charging stations.

As part of Maine’s ambitious climate action plan - Maine Won’t Wait - Governor Mills has committed to putting at least 219,000 ZEVs on the road by 2030, while committing to purchase 100% light-duty ZEVs for the state fleet in the same time frame.

To meet the Commonwealth's ambitious commitment to achieve Net Zero emissions in 2050 and reduce the harmful effects of air pollution, Massachusetts has made significant commitments to increase the number of ZEVs in our state. The clean car and truck standards are a critical tool that align with our investments in vehicle electrification, including over $60 million to support rebates for electric vehicle and truck adoption, and $80 million in charging infrastructure.

New Mexico is working on the adoption of clean car standards and pursuing development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure along major highways in the Intermountain West as a signatory of the Regional Electric Vehicle Plan for the West (REV West) Memorandum of Understanding.

New Jersey announced this year an investment of over $100 million in equitable transportation electrification projects to improve air quality and reduce the effects of climate change, and is developing a regional action plan with the goal that by 2050 all new medium and heavy duty trucks sold are ZEVs.

New York is investing more than $1 billion in zero emissions cars, trucks and buses and ZEV fueling infrastructure over the next five years, including an $85 million competition to deploy innovative clean transportation strategies in communities overburdened by vehicular emissions, and is developing a groundbreaking plan to achieve net zero emissions across the state's economy.

North Carolina is implementing strategic plans to achieve its statewide ZEV goals, participating in the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding, and distributing close to $100 million toward a clean vehicle transition.

Oregon has a goal for at least 90% of new motor vehicles sold annually to be zero-emission by 2035, a goal Oregon would like to expand to 100% with the help of supportive federal policy.

In 2015, Rhode Island set a goal that a minimum of 25% of new light-duty state fleet purchases and leases will be zero-emissions vehicles by 2025 (Executive Order 15-17), and with Governor McKee's signature on the 2021 Act on Climate, state agencies are charged to lead by example when it comes to vehicle emissions.

Washington is a full participant in the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding, and will adopt the full suite of California light, medium and heavy-duty clean vehicle standards by the end of 2021. Washington has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation electrification for passenger cars, trucks, buses and marine vessels.

More than 24 states have worked together to defend the stringency of clean car standards over the past four years, and fifteen states plus the District of Columbia are already collaborating on an MOU to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The environmental and economic benefits of this leadership are significant: For instance, 34 ZEV manufacturers providing 70,000 Californian jobs are producing what has become the state's number one export.

From China to the European Union, a race has begun to lead the zero-emission manufacturing revolution. As a result, many automakers have made bold commitments to manufacture solely ZEVs in the near future. With bold federal leadership, American workers will lead the way in designing, building and driving clean and affordable vehicles. Strong support of ZEVs is also fundamental to keeping America competitive in the global marketplace. As Governors, we respectfully request that your Administration build on this momentum by:

Setting standards to ensure that all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold are zero-emission no later than 2035 with significant milestones along the way to monitor progress.

Setting standards for medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles and supporting complementary policies such as purchase incentives and infrastructure investments, that set a path towards 100% zero-emission sales by no later than 2045 with significant milestones along the way to monitor progress.

Expeditiously restoring strong scientifically based greenhouse gas emission standards for all vehicle model years possible to replace the unsupported standards from the previous administration. This will recover all of the emission reductions and other important benefits that were lost during the past four years.

Reaffirming that states have authority to follow vehicle emissions standards set by California, if they choose to do so.

Providing states with substantial funding for investment in charging and fueling infrastructure, providing grants or other financial support for fleet turnover to ZEVs, providing underserved communities equitable access to ZEVs and charging and fueling infrastructure, and supporting ZEV marketing.

Enhancing the existing electric vehicle tax credits by raising or removing the limits per manufacturer and extending tax credits to sales of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles.

Ensuring that purchase incentives for ZEVs incorporate strategies targeting low-income buyers as well as expand incentives to used ZEVs focusing rebates at the point of sale.

Enacting new tax credits for the manufacturing of zero-emission trucks and buses as well as ZEV charging and fueling stations.

Working to repeal the statutory provision (23 USC § 111) that appears to prohibit the installation of zero-emission recharging/refueling stations along interstate rights of way, including rest areas.

We are excited to build back better with you and are committed to taking action to advance this crucial agenda.


  • Governor Ned Lamont  State of Connecticut
  • Governor Charlie Baker 
  • State of Massachusetts 
  • Governor Kate Brown  State of Oregon
  • Governor Roy Cooper  State of North Carolina
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo  State of New York
  • Governor David Ige  State of Hawaii
  • Governor Jay Inslee  State of Washington
  • Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham  State of New Mexico
  • Governor Dan McKee  State of Rhode Island
  • Governor Janet Mills  State of Maine
  • Governor Phillip D. Murphy  State of New Jersey
  • Governor Gavin Newsom  State of California


  • The Honorable Gina McCarthy, National Climate Advisor
  • The Honorable John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
  • The Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Secretary, Department of Energy
  • The Honorable Michael Regan, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Honorable Pete Buttigieg, Secretary, Department of Transportation

  *   *   *   *   *

City releases Annual Sustainability Report and first-ever Climate Action Plan for Oʻahu

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, April 22, 2021

HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced today, on Earth Day, the release of the City and County of Honolulu’s 2021 Annual Sustainability Report, as well as the City’s first-ever climate action plan entitled One Climate: One O‘ahu. The climate action plan represents a science-based, community driven strategy for O‘ahu to uphold the City’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement and reduce carbon emissions in line with long-term goals beyond net-zero by 2045.

“There is no denying the effects climate change has already had on our island and the projections for increased impacts through this decade and beyond,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “This plan charts us on a course to take bold, transformative action today and tomorrow in our efforts against climate change. This is a very real crisis for Hawai‘i and our planet that deserves our full attention.”  

The plan outlines nine strategies with specific actions to reduce emissions from energy, ground transportation, and waste sectors – three areas that collectively account for nearly two-thirds of O‘ahu’s current carbon emissions.

Developed in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i, the newly-released plan was shaped by more than 2,000 perspectives shared from across the island through in-person community meetings, focus groups, a technical working group, virtual open houses, and online surveys.

“Protecting our people from climate change is our kuleana,” said City Council Chair Tommy Waters. “Over the past two years the City Council has passed strong measures to address the climate emergency and we look forward to working with the Administration to implement this Climate Action Plan in full. Moving quickly to a clean energy economy will make it safer and more affordable for residents to live on Oʻahu long into the future.”

Initiatives to reduce local emissions are already well-underway. The City has selected two Energy Service Company (ESCO) partners to identify and implement cost-effective municipal building retrofits, accelerating the City’s efforts to become more energy efficient and save limited taxpayer funds. Our City bus fleet now has three electric buses, with an additional 14 electric buses set to arrive throughout 2021. As these buses come online, communities along TheBus Route 40 from Mākaha to Ala Moana will be among the first to have access to the clean, zero-emission, quiet, and comfortable rides on these new buses. And, as a part of the Honolulu Complete Streets program, the City is finalizing its newest protected bike lanes on Ward Avenue, providing an important mauka-makai connection that not only improves both bicyclist and pedestrian safety, but that also increases safe access to commercial areas, a growing residential community, and City parks from Thomas Square makai to Kaka‘ako and Ala Moana.

“With this climate action plan, Honolulu will join other major U.S. cities in outlining bold strategies to reduce emissions and build safer streets for residents to walk, bike, or ride public transportation,” said Elizabeth Stampe, a city strategist of the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. “This climate action plan, once passed, should position O‘ahu well for federal funding as the Biden Administration looks to support local climate leadership.”

The 2021 Annual Sustainability Report, is the third annual report and tracks City and community-wide progress on key sustainability indicators, including renewable energy generation, waste diversion, transportation affordability, and climate equity among other metrics.

This year’s Annual Sustainability Report shows improvements in key areas such as water reuse, trees planted and waste reduction, while noting progress has lagged in other areas. Notably, O‘ahu’s overall carbon emissions increased 5.1 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, mainly due to emissions increases in the transportation sector.

“Already Oʻahu is rising to the challenge, but we also know there is more we need to do to reduce negative impacts today and set the stage for tomorrow’s positive outcomes,” noted Matt Gonser, chief resilience officer and executive director of the City’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency.

Now finalized, the climate action plan is being shared with City Council for adoption, the final step to secure O‘ahu’s commitment to local and international climate goals.

“Climate change and a just transition needs to be at the forefront of how the City leads in recovery from the pandemic, how we provide inclusive City core services, and the building of resilient infrastructure to support the growth of our communities,” stated City Councilmember and Chair of the Transportation, Sustainability and Health Committee Radiant Cordero.

To learn more and to review both the 2021 Annual Sustainability Report and the Climate Action Plan, visit

KITV: City & Co. of Honolulu releases first-ever Climate Action Plan, Annual Sustainability Report

HNN: With new plan and ambitious goals, city vows action to combat climate change

IM: Flurry of Activity in Hawai`i During Earth Day 2021  

CB: With Its New Climate Plan, The City Aims To Curb Oahu’s Growing Carbon Pollution

  *   *   *   *   *


Includes HEI's first disclosures aligned with Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations

News Release from HEI, April 22, 2021

HONOLULU, April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) (NYSE: HE) today released an updated consolidated report describing its policies, actions and performance with respect to a number of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, including climate-related risks and opportunities.

HEI's 2021 ESG report includes the company's first Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)-aligned reporting. It also includes the results of HEI's first consolidated ESG priorities assessment. As with HEI's inaugural ESG report last year, the 2021 report presents data aligned with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) guidelines for HEI's utility and bank subsidiaries.

"With all of our operations in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we know that our company's long-term health is inextricably linked with the strength of the economy, communities, and environment of the Hawaiian Islands. That's why ESG and sustainability considerations are at the core of our mission to be a catalyst for a better Hawai'i," said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO.

"Since issuing our inaugural ESG report last fall, we have continued our cross-enterprise work to further integrate ESG and climate-related factors into our governance, strategies, risk management and reporting. This second consolidated ESG report provides an update on our ESG efforts and reflects our commitment to continuous improvement, transparency and accountability surrounding these very important issues," said Lau.

HEI's top ESG priorities identified in the report include decarbonization; economic health and affordability; reliability and resilience; secure digitalization; diversity, equity and inclusion; employee engagement; and climate-related risks and opportunities. These priorities reflect the essential connection between the health of Hawai'i's environment, economy and communities and HEI's success as a company. Future reports will continue to track the company's progress as it works to address these interests.  

Among the highlights:

Hawaiian Electric

Reached a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 35% in 2020, surpassing the state's requirement of 30%.
Continued to lead the nation in rooftop solar penetration, with 20% of residential customers and 36% of single-family homes on O'ahu with rooftop solar in 2020.
Aggressively advanced its utility-scale renewable energy and storage procurement efforts, with proposed projects expected to add ~650 MW of solar and ~3 GWh of storage to the system.
Committed that by 2035, every passenger car, SUV, light pickup truck and minivan in its fleet will be an electric vehicle.

American Savings Bank

Partnered with the State of Hawai'i to launch the Hawaii Restaurant Card to support the unemployed, the restaurant industry and the supply chain during the pandemic, helping funnel more than $71 million into the Hawai'i economy.
Became the first company in Hawai'i to earn the WELL Health-Safety Rating for its ASB Campus, validating the priority it places on the health and safety of its employees in the context of a global pandemic.
Launched a free, comprehensive online financial education resource center to increase financial literacy.

Pacific Current

Continued to grow its portfolio of sustainable infrastructure assets, including with the acquisition of the 6-megawatt Port Allen Solar Facility on Kaua'i, and expanded the use of locally sourced biodiesel at its Hāmākua generation facility in Honoka'a, Hawai'i.
Helped University of Hawai'i (UH) campuses achieve their net-zero goals with three Pacific Current-owned solar-plus-storage projects that are now online at Leeward Community College, Windward Community College and UH Maui College. Two more are expected to begin operation in 2021.
Continued to expand electric vehicle charging in the state through its joint venture with EverCharge, providing smart, power-optimized electric vehicle charging solutions for property owners and managers.

To review the HEI 2021 ESG report, visit

HEI supplies power to approximately 95% of Hawai'i's population through its electric utility, Hawaiian Electric; provides a wide array of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses through American Savings Bank, one of Hawai'i's largest financial institutions; and helps advance Hawai'i's clean energy and sustainability goals through investments by its non-regulated subsidiary, Pacific Current.


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