As an island in the Pacific, Kauaʻi has long contended with the costs and risks of relying on oil to power our community. In recent years, Kauaʻi has become a global leader in reducing our dependence on expensive imported oil. KIUC has proven that it is possible to affordably power our community with a mix of renewable energy sources. However, we can and must do more.
Climate change and rising sea levels are an existential threat to our island. We need to get to zero carbon emissions by the second half of this century and we need to begin rapidly reducing emissions now. The good news is that we can achieve many of our climate goals by taking measures that improve the quality of life for Kauaʻi residents.
Research shows the four areas local governments can influence the most are moving the grid towards 100% renewables, increasing the livable density of our towns to reduce our reliance on cars, making buildings more efficient, and producing less solid waste.
For hundreds of years, Kauaʻi was home to one of the most stable and self-sustaining civilizations that has ever existed. Smart planning and modern technology can allow us to resume that tradition.
Implement energy efficient industry building standards (IECC 2015).
Update the Kauaʻi Bus fleet to fully electric vehicles.
Move 100% of rental car fleet towards electrification.
Encourage new homes and businesses in town cores to create more walkable communities.
Develop and implement a Climate Action Plan and support carbon offset programs.
100% renewable electricity by 2045 (in alignment with current State policy).
100% vehicle electrification by 2045 (in alignment with current Kauaʻi County policy).
80% reduction in islandwide emissions by 2050 (in alignment with the Kauaʻi General Plan).
Recycle or compost 70% of our waste by 2023 (in alignment with current Kauaʻi County policy) by ensuring adequate funding for a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the new landfill.
For more of my thoughts on climate change, check out some of these published pieces: