Trenton, NJ New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund – (New Jersey LCVEF), joined more than 25 advocacy partners organizations from New Jersey to promote a bold Common Agenda to keep New Jersey at forefront of the national movement for climate and justice action that will help protect our families.
The Common Agenda provides recommendations to Governor Murphy and the Legislature for action on issues relating clean water, clean power, transportation, construction and open space, land use and toxins, as well as governance.
New Jersey LCV is calling on legislators to take courageous action to ensure that New Jersey achieves 100 % clean electricity from renewable sources by 2035. This is a goal that aligns with President Bidens clean-energy goals. It is necessary to position the state in the forefront of climate change mitigation and is 15 years earlier than the state is working towards.
Recognizing the importance of addressing carbon pollution, the Common Agenda urges Governor Murphy not only to limit natural gas hookups in residential construction but also to help existing homeowners transition to clean heating sources. Legislation should also be taken to reduce the carbon footprint for the construction industry by encouraging low-carbon building materials.
According to Ed Potosnak (Executive Director of New Jersey LCVEF), the Legislature worked closely together with Murphy during his first term to ensure that New Jersey was at the forefront in environmental protection. He encouraged offshore wind growth, addressed plastic pollution, and signed a landmark environmental justice bill to limit the cumulative impact pollution has had on low-income families and families of color. However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Our climate is in crisis, and our state continues to face threats to clean air and clean drinking water. We must build upon the achievements of the past four years and set new standards for Congress and other states.
The Legislative Common Agenda contains the following five legislative priorities.
By 2035, 100% of clean electricity must come from renewable energy sources. Strong commitments will be made to reduce pollution in overburdened areas. This goal will help New Jersey be a leader in combating climate change and meet President Biden’s goal of a clean energy transition.
Climate change must be included in the State Hazard Mitigation Program to help build a more resilient New Jersey. Our state is already feeling the impacts of climate change. We must now adopt our disaster plans to reflect this fact to protect our families, communities, and communities.
Ensure that communities have access to modern, electrified public transit options. Transportation is the largest sector that contributes to climate change. We are committed to advancing legislation that will expand access to reliable, clean public transit last mile to reduce pollution and increase employment opportunities for working families.
Warehouse sprawl must be controlled to protect and increase open space in New Jersey. We want to preserve open space and reduce traffic. We promote responsible development that minimizes the environmental impacts of large warehouses. We also want to expand access to existing protected spaces for all New Jerseyans, regardless of their zip code.
Low-carbon building materials can be used to reduce carbon pollution in homes and businesses. We can build more sustainably if we encourage the use of green technologies that reduce our carbon footprint.
New Jersey is at the forefront of climate change. The state has been hit hard by severe storms and flooding, from Sandy to Ida, which highlights the need for quick action, stated Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson). This historic moment demands that we lead the nation in a transition towards a 21st century economy powered by clean energy, which will create jobs and revitalize our state.
Advocates also urged Governor Murphy to take the following steps, and that progress be measured.
Ending divertissements from the Clean Energy Fund will strengthen the state’s clean energy policies. Clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions and create jobs should not be a part of the state budget. These funds should not be subject to regular raids.
Establishing a dedicated funding source for NJ Transit will ensure that communities have access to modern public transit. NJ Transit is vital to our state’s economic competitiveness, as well as our plans to reduce traffic and carbon pollution. We must give NJ Transit the financial security it needs to plan for long-term success by creating a dedicated funding source that meets New Jersey’s needs.
Give municipalities funding to invest in and build green infrastructure projects. This will ensure that our towns and cities are prepared for extreme storms. The administration should help communities already affected by climate changes to find green solutions that reduce flood risks and improve water quality.
Increase funding for trail maintenance and protection of open spaces is essential to ensure their continued availability. The pandemic has shown the importance of open space. Additional funding is needed to address the backlog of repairs that keep families from enjoying our parks, trails, and trails.
To improve indoor air quality, and reduce emissions, we need to change the way that we heat and cool homes and water. We can improve public safety and build more sustainably if we end natural gas hookups for new residential homes by 2030.
“We have come to view the fight for environmental justice as a puzzle, where each piece represents a particular battle. Yes, some pieces may receive more attention than others, but for the puzzle’s completion every piece is required,” said Marcus Sibley, NJSC NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Chairman. We’re grateful for the tremendous strides made thus far, and will continue to fight for all aspects of the EJ fight to be a part of the administration’s agenda.”
New Jersey is at a crucial point in its past and has an unique opportunity to build a clean-energy economy while also addressing the legacy of environmental racism. Bob Conley Chair of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. We look forward working with Governor Murphy, the Legislature, to advance these key priorities to protect New Jersey’s families and create a better future.
Pinelands Preservation Alliance is pleased to have this ambitious and necessary agenda especially for strengthening Pinelands Commission. Jaclyn Rhomds, Assistant Executive Director, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, stated that the Pinelands Preservation Alliance is delighted with the outcome. We look forward seeing more strong leaders at the Pinelands Commission, and in the executive position of the director, very soon.
Scott Dvorak, New Jersey Program Director for Trust for Public Lands, stated that the Trust for Public Lands was proud to have contributed to The Green in 21 Initiative, along with many other environmental groups from across New Jersey who are concerned about New Jersey’s future. As we work to further our mission of having every resident of New Jersey live within a ten-minute walk of a park, playground or dedicated open space, we look forward to working alongside Governor Murphy and other legislative leaders to address environmental injustices and climate change.
Kelly Knutson, Director of Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, states that bold climate justice legislation is essential to ensure clean drinking water and reduce the impact of climate change on New Jersey’s frontline communities. The Coalition congratulates New Jersey LCV for leading the Green in 21 Initiative, which aims to make New Jersey more equitable, healthier and more sustainable. We look forward working with Governor Murphy, our New Jersey partners, on the Common Agenda and strengthening the States commitments in clean water protection.
Eric Stiles, President & CEO of NJ Audubon, stated that NJ Audubon is delighted to have contributed to this important policy document along with New Jersey LCV Ed Fund, and other environmental partners. This policy guide provides a comprehensive overview of the state’s many conservation and environmental problems. It is a valuable reference for all NJ decision-makers. We applaud Governor Murphy’s efforts to advance the 2022 Common Agenda.
“Adopting protective rules and strong regulations is critical. As important as having the right people to lead the State is having them in place. We encourage the Administration to move promptly on nominations of the best candidates to help protect the State’s environment and implement the rules and regulations we need,” said Julia Somers, Chair of New Jersey LCV and Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition.
“We look forward to working with NJ LCV and our partners to move these critical priorities forward,” said Tom Gilbert, Co-Executive Director of NJ Conservation Foundation. “The urgency couldn’t be greater to address the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and solidify our commitment to a healthier and more prosperous 100% clean energy future.”
New Jersey LCV’s Green in 21 Initiative has tackled the state’s environmental challenges by outlining essential policies and funding to protect the air we breathe and water we drink,” said Eric Miller, Director of NJ Energy Policy for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Both the Green in 21 Initiative and now the 2022 Legislative Common Agenda bring together organizations, legislators, and communities around common goals that aim to make New Jersey a healthy, equitable place to live.
Water is life. To protect every New Jerseyan’s right to clean drinking water, improve our stormwater infrastructure and strengthen our coastal resilience, we must act quickly across all our watersheds. Blair Nelsen (Executive Director, Waterspirit) said that Waterspirit is pleased to witness these crucial policy recommendations gain ground.
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