Major Climate Bill Passes in New Jersey

May 23, 2019

This is big: the New Jersey legislature just passed legislation that would nearly decarbonize the state by 2050. This is a game-changer in the fight against climate change – New Jersey represents that eighth biggest economy in the country.

The new legislation requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish regulations that ensure the state reduces emissions 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. This enhances NJDEP’s authority over GHG emissions reductions and is an important administrative tool for holding polluters accountable.

“The Global Warming Response Act was passed 12 years ago, but has never been fully implemented,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “The current bill S3207/A4821 is bipartisan legislation that requires the state to set interim benchmarks and adopt sensible measures to meet the Act’s goals – which will catalyze substantial economy-wide decarbonization efforts.”

Today’s vote follows the release of a new report showing that clean energy jobs are now a major part of New Jersey’s economy. With nearly 52,000 jobs statewide in areas including renewable energy such as wind and solar, clean vehicles manufacturing, and energy efficiency, New Jersey’s clean energy economy employs about as many workers as UPS (19,000 workers), Walmart (17,405), and Verizon (15,000) combined.

In just the last month, Colorado, Nevada, South Carolina, and Washington have also all made significant climate and clean energy progress – further demonstrating that in the absence of leadership from the White House, environmental champions at the state level are leading the way by making significant moves forward toward pollution-free communities.