NEW JERSEY – Environment New Jersey and the Climate Action Campaign (CAC) Thursday hosted a virtual press conference with local community advocates to discuss worsening extreme weather driven by climate change, including the devastating fallout from Tropical Storm Henri and Hurricane Ida.
The speakers called on Reps. Tom Malinowski (NJ-07) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) to continue to fight for major investments to combat climate change through the Build Back Better Budget.
The speakers also pointed to an alarming new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighting the urgent need for major federal investments.
The event included Environment New Jersey State Director Doug O’Malley, Chatham Borough Mayor Thad Kobylarz, Cedar Knolls meteorologist Mike Favetta, and American Security Project Senior Fellow for Climate Security David Haines.
The event was part of a $10 million grassroots campaign conducted throughout the month of August and early September in 12 states to demand ambitious investments in clean energy, environmental justice and climate solutions organized by the Climate Action Campaign.
“Last week was a brutal reminder of what we’re dealing with,” said Environment New Jersey State Director Doug O’Malley. “Climate change is driving harsher, more frequent extreme weather, and communities across New Jersey are paying the price. Reps. Tom Malinowski and Mikie Sherrill understand what’s at stake. Now’s the time for them to take action. The lives and livelihoods of New Jerseyans depend on the decisions Congress will make in the coming weeks.”
“Local communities can’t wage this fight alone,” said Chatham Borough Mayor Thad Kobylarz. “Climate change is making extreme weather more frequent and more intense. Last week was yet another reminder of the scale and severity of the crisis we face. We must make long-overdue investments in our clean energy economy to build a more resilient energy grid, address environmental injustice, and reduce the climate pollution driving the dangerous extreme weather that we’ve just witnessed across New Jersey.”
“From here in North Jersey to the Shore to the Philly suburbs, folks across the state are experiencing the reality of climate change firsthand,” said Mike Favetta, Founding Meteorologist at WeatherPrep, LLC. “It’s happening, it’s in our backyard, and it’s on track to get much worse. This crisis isn’t going away on its own. We need unprecedented federal investments to build our clean energy infrastructure, cut down climate-altering pollution, and stop this problem at the source.”
“Our national security leaders aren’t mincing words about the threat we’re facing, and as the newest IPCC report made clear, that threat is only going to get worse,” said American Security Project Senior Fellow for Climate Security David Haines. “The Pentagon is preparing for what’s coming, and our leaders in Congress need to do the same. New Jerseyans are on the frontlines of a critical fight. These communities shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of climate change on their own.”
Cranford Mayor Kathleen Prunty was unable to attend the event due to ongoing impacts of Hurricane Ida in Cranford, but said, “I am anxious to get immediate relief for Cranford flood victims but I know that we need to remain laser-focused on permanent solutions or we will continue to deal with these climate catastrophes. Hundred year floods are occurring frequently. Cranford has had four major floods in less than 25 years.”