Hawaiians featured in project highlighting “Voices for 100% Renewable Energy”

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Anna Hofmann

Today, Environment America announced three Hawaii residents as leading voices for clean energy. The Hawaiians are profiled in a national project, Voices for 100% Renewable Energy, featuring photos, testimonials, and videos from a wide array of individuals from across America – from academics, to mayors and other public officials, to community leaders, to business and non-profit leaders – all embracing a steady and swift transition to clean, renewable energy.   

Hawaiians featured in the in the project include Governor David Ige; Chris Lee, a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives; Jeffrey Mikulina, the Executive Director of Blue Planet Foundation.

“We’re inspired by people like Governor Ige, Representative Lee, and Jeffrey Mikulina, who know we can, and must, shift to 100 percent renewable energy,” said Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director with Environment America. “We’re thrilled to share some of their stories through this project. Our hope is that it will motivate the many folks who know we need a swift, steady and complete transition from dirty to clean energy to lean into the effort.”  

The people featured in the project cited a range of environmental, economic, equity, social, and health benefits from the transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Most focused on the urgent need to eliminate climate-altering carbon pollution. Others simply believe that it’s common sense and good economics to save energy and to harness unlimited, pollution-free energy sources.   

Jeffrey Mikulina says, “There is simply no better place on Earth than Hawaii to lead our transition to a 100 percent clean energy future. That’s what motivated Blue Planet Foundation in 2013 to launch a campaign that would set a 100 percent renewable energy target for Hawaii — the first of its kind in the nation.” Three years after Hawaii’s commitment to 100% renewable energy was signed into law, Mikulina says the law “has since changed the conversation about our energy future; it has unlocked innovation, aligned our planning, and fostered collaboration across the community.”

Representative Chris Lee describes the economic benefits that the transition to 100 percent renewable energy has brought and will continue to bring to Hawaiians. “Hawaii’s progress toward 100 percent renewable energy has already saved local consumers over a quarter billion dollars and created thousands of jobs that now account for the fastest-growing sector of our economy….Our utilities are planning to be 100 percent renewable in just two decades, and that means billions more in savings to come for local residents.”

“The Hawaiian Islands are vulnerable to climate change, and embracing renewable energy is one of our strongest tools to combat it. We are blessed with abundant renewable energy resources—solar, wind, ocean, geothermal—that can be the foundation for a robust alternate energy industry.  We can also reduce Hawaii’s $6 billion a year dependence on imported oil and instead keep funds here while creating new jobs in the process. I’m proud that Hawaiʻi is the first, and still the only, state to have a 100 percent renewable energy goal for electricity. Hawaii was also the first state to enact legislation aligned with the Paris agreement. We are moving forward with our commitments to meet, and even surpass, those targets of lower carbon emissions to combat global warming,” said Governor Ige.

“For years, we’ve been told that pollution from dirty fuels was the price we had to pay for progress,” said Anna Hofmann, Clean Energy Associate with Environment America. “Those days are over.  My confidence that we can make the shift to clean renewable energy has been boosted by the conversations I’ve had with so many people we’ve profiled in the Voices for 100% Renewable project.”

To view Voices for 100% Renewable Energy, go to www.100percentrenewable.org.

staff | TPIN

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