We are the first generation to be able to end poverty and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
-- Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
Climate Change
Climate Change

Climate change is caused primarily by increased Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in the atmosphere which trap energy and elevate temperatures. In New Jersey the largest source of GHG is transportation, generating about 41 percent of total emissions according to 2012 EPA data. The second largest source is electric generation from fossil fuels, contributing about 19 percent of emissions.

New Jersey was formerly part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is a cooperative effort among nine Eastern states to cap and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the power sector. In 2011 the Governor withdrew New Jersey from the RGGI. Consequently, New Jersey no longer receives revenue from the sale of pollution allowances required in participating states, and the state’s power plants are no longer governed by a statewide limit on the amount of carbon pollution production. The foregone proceeds are estimated at $279 million from 2012 to 2017 with the total reaching $489 million by 2020.

New Jersey would benefit from joining the RGGI and implementing the Global Warming Response Act (GWRA). GWRA mandates the reduction of statewide GHG to 1990 levels by 2020 with a further reduction of 80 percent below 2006 emission levels no later than 2050. There is no plan to meet the 2050 targets. New Jersey’s in-state emissions from the electricity sector have been escalating over the past three years driven primarily by emissions from gas-fired electric plants.

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Recommendations

  • Rein in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Combat global warming

First 100 Days

Rejoin the RGGI with additional protections for Environmental Justice (EJ) and low-income communities
Join and take leadership in the U.S. Climate Alliance to demonstrate New Jersey’s commitment to meeting Paris Climate Accord goals

First Year

Implement the Global Warming Response Act
Develop targets and strategies by sector through a comprehensive Climate Action Plan that meets the goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, achieves 2050 GWRA targets and integrates actions across the energy and transportation and other sectors, and ensures coastal and community resiliency
Adopt the GHG emissions monitoring and reporting regulations required by GWRA and ensure biennial reporting and progress tracking
Sign and implement the Zero Emissions Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding as a first step to address the transportation sector

First Term

Institute mandatory emissions reductions for GHG and co-pollutants at regulated polluting facilities located in EJ communities that bear disproportionate health impact burdens
Ensure that at least 40 percent of the funds dedicated for beneficial uses (such as bill assistance and energy efficiency incentives) are targeted for EJ communities
Ensure that RGGI revenues are used for intended purposes and not diverted to the general fund
New Jersey LCV Education Fund greatly appreciates each organization’s contributions and valued expertise shared in this effort as well as the immeasurable commitment put forward to protecting New Jersey’s environment:

The American Littoral SocietyAssociation of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC)Clean Ocean Action (COA)ClimateMamaEnvironmental Defense Fund (EDF)GreenFaithHackensack RiverkeeperIronbound Community Corporation (ICC)Isles, Inc.Moms Clean Air ForceMonmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF)New Jersey AudubonThe NJ Clean Cities CoalitionNew Jersey Conservation FoundationNew Jersey FutureNew Jersey Highlands CoalitionNJ Work Environment Council (WEC)NY/NJ BaykeeperNew York-New Jersey Trail ConferencePinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA)Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA)ReThink Energy NJSave Barnegat BayStony Brook-Millstone Watershed AssociationThe Land Conservancy of New JerseyTri-State Transportation CampaignThe Trust for Public LandWilliam Penn FoundationGeraldine R. Dodge FoundationThe Fund for New Jersey

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