If Hawai‘i is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve
overall air quality, continued involvement in future efforts
is highly needed. Failure to plan and identify such measures
may increase global warming in Hawai‘i, with atmospheric pollution
increasing from 18,897,590 tons of CO2 to 25,094,245 tons of
CO2 by the year 2020. (Source: www.epa.gov)
Although Hawai‘i accounts for just 0.3 percent of total U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions, the threat to overall climate change
persists. According to an inventory report by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, recent figures indicate that Hawai‘i’s transportation
sector emitted 2.4 million metric tons of carbon emissions in
1999. Contributing in large part to these numbers are the many
sports utility vehicles sold here in the state.
In 1999, Pacific Business News published a list of the 20 best-selling
automobiles and light trucks in Hawai‘i for the model year 1998.
Ford Explorer, ranked No. 13, and Jeep Wrangler, ranked No.
18. These vehicles emitted about 5.3 tons of CO2 per 10,000
miles, compared to the year’s top-selling model, the Dodge/Plymouth
Neon, which emitted 3.1 tons of CO2 per 10,000 miles. Clearly,
larger automobiles are major contributing forces to the problem
of global warming.
The 2000 Hawai‘i Energy Strategy Report, released by the state
Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, recommends
the following to those committed to reducing greenhouse gas
emissions in Hawai‘i:
• Petition state lawmakers to encourage local auto dealers
and rental car agencies to use electric vehicles. The Hawai‘i
Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project (HEVDP) has deployed
more than 40 electric vehicles—pickup trucks, automobiles, and
buses—for military and state use.
• Speak to state Department of Transportation officials about
increasing the use of mass transit—city buses, vanpools (ride-sharing
programs), and water ferries—as well as improving the bicycle
transportation system (safer riding lanes and bike paths).
• Join a local coalition group specialized in addressing and
solving critical environmental issues.