NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Wednesday announced a series of climate actions to further secure New Jersey’s clean energy future and protect residents, the economy, and the environment from the worsening impacts of climate change.
Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 274, which establishes an interim greenhouse gas reduction target of 50 percent below 2006 levels by 2030, strengthening New Jersey’s path to achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Leveraging the proceeds from New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Governor Murphy also announced a $13.7 million investment in electric buses and trucks to reduce emissions and improve air quality in overburdened communities.
Additionally, the Governor announced a $20 million expansion of the New Jersey Zero Emission Incentive Program (NJZIP) into the greater Jersey Shore area. Together, these initiatives will reduce vehicle emissions from the transportation sector, which is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey and a major contributor to global warming and climate change.
“We must meet the devastating impacts of global warming and climate change, with bold intentional action,” Murphy said. “By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and electrifying our transportation sector, we are taking the critical steps to solidify New Jersey’s clean energy future, while also improving air quality in our underserved communities.”
“New Jersey is committed to continued actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby limiting the worsening effects of climate change,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner LaTourette. “With Governor Murphy’s unyielding focus on creating opportunity from out of the Garden State’s greatest long-term challenge, we will accelerate our efforts to confront climate crisis and in the process create family-sustaining jobs that can lift all of our communities.”
“The electrification of our transportation system is a key part of the Energy Master Plan which is the pathway to reaching Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “With today’s announcement, we are supporting electric vehicles and reinforcing our commitment to reducing auto emissions in overburdened communities which have, in the past, borne the burden of bus and truck pollution.”
“New Jersey’s ideal location along the Northeast corridor make us a prime spot for transportation and logistics businesses and organizations seeking to access the entire Eastern seaboard,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “By expanding the NJ ZIP program, the NJEDA has the opportunity to double down on its efforts to support entities seeking to ‘go green’ and reduce their carbon footprints by helping them remove financial barriers that can impede their access to clean energy resources.”
“We’re in crisis, in NJ, here in Budd Lake, as well as Manville and Mullica Hill both of which were devastated by Ida, on Long Beach Island, and in my home town of Newark. People are sick, they’re struggling economically. They’re being disrespected — from the pandemic, the challenge to our democracy, racial discrimination, the struggle for a living wage, and the climate emergency,” said Kim Gaddy, Clean Water Action Environmental Justice Director. “The Governor understands we can’t afford incremental change, we can’t be patient, we have to do better not only in NJ, but worldwide. The science tells us that we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and that is what the Governor’s EO will do — otherwise we will face cataclysmic affects to our environment that cannot be reversed
“New Jersey LCV was the first environmental organization to endorse Governor Murphy because he’s led the way with the most ambitious agenda to fight climate change and address environmental injustice in the nation,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey LCV. “There’s still more to be done, and today’s announcement of a 50% greenhouse gas reductions by 2030 benchmark, is an important step and another example of Governor Murphy’s strong leadership and bold climate and justice agenda. We look forward to working with him and the legislature to build a stronger, fairer, and more resilient state for our children and grandchildren.”
Since February 2021, New Jersey has committed nearly $71 million in RGGI proceeds to purchase electric vehicles and install charging stations in environmental justice communities. The latest round of RGGI funding will enable local governments and private operators to purchase 46 electric school buses to serve Bogota, Dover, Camden, East Orange, Garfield, Haledon, Lakewood, Leonia, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Trenton and Weehawken. It also funds the purchase of three public works trucks in Pleasantville.
The RGGI proceeds also funds the expansion of the NJZIP program, which builds on the momentum generated since the launch of the clean energy initiative, which is currently available in the greater Newark, Camden, and New Brunswick areas. Beginning December 1, 2021, businesses and organizations within the Greater Shore Area can apply for vouchers to offset the cost of purchasing new, zero-emission medium-duty vehicles. For the purposes of this pilot expansion, the Greater Shore Area is defined as the overburdened communities within or intersected by a line set at a 10-mile distance from New Jersey’s eastern Atlantic shore, spanning approximately from Sandy Hook Bay to Delaware Bay.