Hawaii, the state often considered one of the most incredible vacation spots in the United States, is now using climate to control its citizens’ behavior.
The Aloha State made history on April 29 by becoming the first state to declare a climate emergency: a situation which requires urgent action to reduce or stop climate change and avoid irreversible damage.
The law, properly known as SCR44, recognizes that climate change is a threat to humans and was passed by the island’s local government.
It urges the state to make better choices to help prevent climate change and work together with organizations tackling its impact, BBC reports.
“I’m very pleased that the Legislature has taken this step by declaring a climate emergency,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard (D), the primary sponsor of the resolution. “We must take strong action to address climate change related challenges, such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, and the protection of our critical infrastructure.”
The decision was celebrated by the Hawaii Climate & Environmental Coalition, a group made up of more than a dozen organizations focused on halting climate change, with a major focus on the Hawaiian Islands.
“The climate crisis is a clear and present threat for both current and future generations,” Dyson Chee from the Hawaii Youth Climate Coalition said.
“This is why we are thankful for the passage of SCR44, and the recognition by the Hawaii State Legislature that climate change is an emergency that needs to be dealt with accordingly,” he added.
In the resolution, Hawaii promises “statewide action that is rooted in equity, self-determination, culture, tradition, and the belief that people locally and around the world have the right to clean, healthy, and adequate air, water, land, food, education, and shelter.”