S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















SECTION 1. The legislature finds that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. There are many contributors to climate change, and transportation-generated greenhouse gas emissions are a significant contributor. The legislature acknowledges that, within the transportation sector, the air transportation component faces particularly difficult technical challenges in reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with air travel. Since air travel is essential to tourism, the legislature finds that air travel and its associated carbon emissions will remain key elements of Hawaii's intertwined economy and climate for the foreseeable future.

In the past few years, the United Nations has established an extensive framework for the provision of carbon offsets for carbon emissions resulting from international air travel, known as carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA). A pilot phase for this program is scheduled for 2021. CORSIA, however, will not apply to air travel to Hawaii from the continental United States.

The legislature further finds that, for essential activities such as air travel that are intractably resistant, at least in the near term, to technological solutions to carbon emission reductions, the use of carbon offsets to compensate for those emissions is a strategic necessity for achieving the zero emission clean economy target set for the State by Act 15, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018.

The purpose of this Act is to provide a process by which the department of transportation shall assist persons traveling by air to or from airports in Hawaii in the purchase of verifiable carbon offsets to compensate for carbon dioxide emissions from air travel. While this Act relies on the voluntary purchase of carbon offsets by air travelers from providers of such offsets, the legislature anticipates that many travelers will take advantage of the program, given the increasing awareness by air travelers of the climate change implications of their travel. The legislature additionally finds that the ease of purchasing offsets may have the effect of enhancing the desirability of travel to Hawaii.

SECTION 2. Chapter 261, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"261-   Air travel carbon offset purchase. (a) Pursuant to its authority under section 261-4, the department shall utilize the following procedures to facilitate the voluntary purchase of verified carbon offsets by persons engaging in qualified air travel to or from an airport in the State. The department:

(1) Shall receive requests from persons who will be engaging in, or have recently engaged in, qualified air travel to or from an airport in the State for assistance in voluntarily purchasing a verified carbon offset for the carbon dioxide emissions associated with a person's qualified air travel;

(2) Shall use reasonable best efforts to facilitate the requestor's connection with a provider of verified carbon offsets for carbon dioxide emissions from air travel from whom the requestor may purchase a carbon offset for their trip;

(3) Shall place information on the department's website describing the process being made available by the department to assist air travelers with their purchase of verified carbon offsets for their air travel from providers of such offsets, including interactive capability by which air travelers may arrange for the online purchase of verified carbon offsets, and shall encourage airlines using airports in the State to provide links on their respective websites to the department's webpage concerning carbon offsets for air travel;

(4) Shall maintain a list of entities, public or private, that provide verified carbon offsets for passenger air travel; and

(5) May contract with other persons to conduct one or more of the duties described in paragraphs (1) through (4).

(b) For the purposes of this section:

"Carbon offset" means a reduction in carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in, or emitted into, the atmosphere that is achieved by or on behalf of a person to compensate, in a carbon dioxide-equivalent amount, for the emissions of carbon dioxide resulting from air travel by the person to or from an airport in the State. "Carbon offset" includes an action that removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or that reduces future greenhouse gas emissions.

"Qualified air travel" means any air travel regulated under this chapter that occurs between an airport in the State and another airport in the State or an airport in the continental United States.

"Verified" means, with respect to a carbon offset, a reduction in carbon dioxide, or carbon dioxide-equivalent amount of other greenhouse gases, that is determined to be real, permanent, and unlikely to occur in the absence of the offset program, through a process of validation and verification by an independent third party."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2050.



Report Title:

Air Travel; Verified Carbon Offset; Qualified Air Travel; Department of Transportation



Establishes procedures for the department of transportation to assist and enable a person to voluntarily purchase a verified carbon offset for carbon dioxide emissions resulting from their air travel to or from an airport in the State. Takes effect 1/1/2050. (SD1)




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