NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy announced an investment of more than $100 million in clean, equitable transportation projects that will improve air quality and reduce the effects of climate change while moving New Jersey towards 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Leveraging proceeds from New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds, this funding will bring electrification programs, equitable mobility projects, and electric charging infrastructure to environmental justice communities across the state.
Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order No. 221 establishing the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. Housed within the Governor’s Office, the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy will focus on the interlocking priorities of addressing climate change, ensuring New Jersey’s clean energy future, and transitioning to a green economy while prioritizing equity and environmental justice. Governor Murphy announced that Jane Cohen, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor on Environment and Energy, will lead the Office as Executive Director.
The Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy will oversee the creation of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy, an initiative announced in the Governor’s 2021 State of the State address to expand the green economy in line with the Administration’s clean energy and climate goals. Led by First Lady Tammy Murphy, who will serve as Honorary Chair, the Council will be co-chaired by the Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and the President of the Board of Public Utilities. Members of the Council will include representatives from other State departments, as well representatives from chambers of commerce, organized labor, industry, utilities, green business, environmental justice communities, academia, small business, workforce development, and environmental advocacy.
“Climate change is the single greatest long-term threat currently facing humanity, and our state and economy are uniquely vulnerable to its devastating effects,” Murphy said. “The investments we are announcing today signify our commitment to environmental justice and equity, while building a cleaner economy that works for all. The newly created Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, coupled with the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy, will use our trademark innovation and talented workforce to make New Jersey a national leader of the green economy. Together, these initiatives we will make New Jersey stronger, fairer—and greener—for generations to come.”
“Environmental justice is social justice. Investing in a green economy means we are creating a healthier, cleaner and more environmentally stable place for all New Jerseyans to live,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Governor Murphy’s plan to address the immediate impacts of climate change on our communities prioritizes equity and sustainable growth to help ensure that everyone can participate in and benefit from a green economy.”
“New Jersey’s leadership in the green economy will to benefit both the health and financial security of New Jerseyans for generations to come,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, Honorary Chair of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy. “The New Jersey Council on the Green Economy will help us chart a path forward toward that reality, while ensuring that the wealth and opportunity generated from these initiatives both benefits and reflects the diverse communities of our state. This effort is more than a jobs program or set of environmental regulations – it is a partnership between generations designed to prepare a skilled and innovative workforce of the future, ready to lead New Jersey and the nation.”
“Addressing climate change requires bold and intentional government action,” said Jane Cohen, Executive Director of the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. “The Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy will lead this challenging work and bring a diverse mix of experts to the table so that New Jersey can seize on the opportunity to be a leader in environmental justice and the transition to an equitable clean energy economy.”
The $100 million investment of proceeds from the New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and its prosecution of Volkswagen for emissions cheating, will fund the following projects:
- $9 million in grants for local government electrification projects that will help to improve air quality in environmental justice communities through the deployment of electric garbage and delivery trucks
- $13 million in grants for low- and moderate-income communities to reduce emissions that affect our children’s air quality through the deployment of electric school buses and shuttle buses
- $5 million in grants for equitable mobility projects that will bring electric vehicle ride hailing and charging stations to four New Jersey towns and cities
- $5 million in grants for deployment of fast charging infrastructure at 27 locations statewide
- $36 million to reduce diesel and black carbon emissions in environmental justice communities by electrifying port, cargo handling, and other medium- and heavy-duty equipment in port and industrial areas
- $15 million towards NJ TRANSIT bus electrification
- $15 million towards flex funding to further deploy additional funding to the listed initiatives
Under Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 221, within one year, the Council shall deliver the initial report of its recommendations for a comprehensive and coordinated green economy strategy that:
- drives sustainable economic growth and development;
- accelerates the growth of green jobs and facilitates green workforce development;
- prioritizes equity, diversity, inclusion, and environmental and economic justice; and,
- avoids, adjusts for, and provides appropriate support for workers potentially displaced in course of the state’s transition to a green economy.