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Hawaii has passed a law to document sea level rise and set strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill signed by Gov. David Ige aligns the state’s goals with the Paris climate accord, AP reported.
President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from that agreement last week.
Ige says Hawaii is the first state to enact legislation implementing parts of the Paris climate agreement.
Ige says the islands are seeing the impacts of climate change first-hand. He says tides are getting higher, biodiversity is shrinking, coral is bleaching and coastlines are eroding.
At least a dozen states including Hawaii have signed pledges to continue reducing fossil-fuel emissions despite Trump’s decision.
Ige also signed a bill Tuesday to reduce carbon emissions in the agriculture sector.
Hawaii has been struggling with the impacts of climate change for years. According to a report published by AP, the world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. "To lose coral reefs is to fundamentally undermine the health of a very large proportion of the human race," said Ruth Gates, director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. "We've lost 50 percent of the reefs, but that means we still have 50 percent left," said Gates, who is working in Hawaii to breed corals that can better withstand increasing temperatures. "We definitely don't want to get to the point where we don't intervene until we have 2 percent left."

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