Trenton, NJ – New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (New Jersey LCVEF) has joined more than 25 advocacy partner organizations from across New Jersey to advance a bold joint agenda designed to keep New Jersey at the forefront of the national movement to achieve climate and justice action that will protect our families and communities.
The joint agenda includes recommendations for Governor Murphy and the Legislature to act on issues relating to clean water, clean energy, transportation, construction, open spaces, land use, toxins and governance.
New Jersey LCV calls for courageous legislative action that would compel New Jersey to achieve 100% clean electricity from clean, renewable sources by 2035, a goal that aligns with President Biden’s clean energy goals and which is needed to bring the state to the fore in the fight against climate change and 15 years earlier than the state is working.
Recognizing that tackling carbon pollution is critically important, the joint agenda also urges Governor Murphy to take action to limit natural gas hookups in new home construction, while helping existing homeowners transition to clean heating sources, as well as legislative measures. reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint by encouraging the use of low-carbon building materials.
“During its first term, the Legislature worked closely with Governor Murphy to put New Jersey at the forefront of environmental protection by stimulating the growth of offshore wind, tackling plastic pollution and signing a landmark environmental justice bill that attempts to limit the cumulative impacts pollution has had on families of color and low-income communities,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director of New Jersey LCVEF.” But now is not the time to rest on our laurels. Our climate is in crisis, and our state continues to suffer from threats to clean air, clean water, and open spaces. We must build on the successes of the past four years to continue to make New Jersey a national role model and raise the bar for other states and Congress.
The common legislative program comprises the following five legislative priorities:
● Require 100% clean electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035, with strong commitments to reduce pollution in overburdened communities. This goal will put New Jersey at the forefront of the fight against climate change by achieving President Biden’s goal of a clean energy transition.
● Build a more resilient New Jersey and protect residents by including climate change in the state’s risk mitigation plan. Our state is already feeling the effects of climate change and must enact its contingency plans to account for this fact in order to protect our families and communities.
● Ensure communities have accessible and electrified modern transit options. Transportation is the single largest sector contributing the most to climate change, and we are committed to advancing legislation to expand access to clean and reliable “last mile” public transit to reduce emissions and pollution and increase employment opportunities for working families.
● Protect and increase access to open spaces throughout New Jersey by controlling warehouse sprawl. We want to protect open spaces and reduce traffic by promoting responsible development that reduces the impacts of large warehouses on the environment, and expand access to our already protected spaces for all New Jersey residents, regardless of code. postal.
● Reduce carbon pollution from homes and businesses by using low-carbon building materials for construction. We can build more sustainably by encouraging the use of new technologies that reduce our carbon footprint.
“New Jersey is on the front lines of climate change, with severe storms and flooding from Sandy to Ida underscoring the need for quick action,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson). “We must face this historic moment by leading the nation in a transition to a 21st century economy fueled by clean energy that will create jobs and revitalize our state.”
Advocates have also called on Governor Murphy to take action on the following initiatives, and progress will be measured here:
● Strengthen the state’s clean energy policies by ending abuses of the Clean Energy Fund. Our state budget should not be balanced on the back of clean energy projects that reduce emissions and create jobs. We must end the regular raids on these dedicated funds.
● Ensure communities have accessible and modern public transit by establishing a dedicated funding stream for NJ Transit. NJ Transit is essential to our state’s economic competitiveness and our plans to reduce traffic and reduce carbon pollution. We need to give NJ Transit the financial security it needs to plan for the long term by establishing a dedicated funding source for the agency that meets New Jersey’s needs.
● Ensure our cities and towns are prepared for extreme storms by providing municipalities with funds to invest and install green infrastructure projects. The administration must help communities already affected by climate change to seek green solutions to reduce flood risk and protect water quality.
● Protect and expand access to open spaces by increasing funding for the maintenance of trails and parks. The pandemic has highlighted the need for open spaces, and we need additional funds to deal with a backlog of repairs that are preventing families from enjoying our parks and trails.
● Clean indoor air quality and reduce emissions, we need to change the way we heat and cool our homes and water. We can improve public health and build more sustainably by ending natural gas connections in new homes by 2030.
“We have come to see the struggle 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 completion of the puzzle, every piece is needed,” said Marcus Sibley, president of NJSC NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice. “We are grateful for the significant progress made thus far and will continue to fight to ensure that all aspects of the fight against JE are on the administration’s agenda.”
“New Jersey is at a turning point in its history with a unique opportunity to build a clean energy economy while addressing generations of environmental racism,” said Bob Conley, president of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education. fund. “We look forward to working with Governor Murphy and the Legislature to advance these key priorities to protect New Jersey families and build a more prosperous future.”
“The Pinelands Preservation Alliance is thrilled to see this ambitious and much-needed program, particularly to strengthen the Pinelands Commission,” said Jaclyn Rhoads, Deputy Executive Director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. “We look forward to seeing more strong leaders on the Pinelands Commission and in the Executive Director position very soon.”
“The Trust for Public Land is proud to have contributed to the Green in 21 initiative along with so many other environmental organizations across the state who are concerned about the future of New Jersey,” said Scott Dvorak, director of the New Jersey program for The Trust. for public lands. “As we pursue our mission to ensure that every resident of the State lives within a ten minute walk of a park, playground or dedicated open space; we look forward to working with Governor Murphy and our legislative leaders to take bold action to address issues of climate change and environmental injustice.
“In order to protect our clean water supply and mitigate the disproportionate effects of climate change on New Jersey’s frontline communities, bold climate justice legislation is essential,” said Kelly Knutson, director of the Coalition for the Delaware River watershed. “The Coalition commends New Jersey LCV and others for their leadership in advocating for the Green in 21 initiative, an agenda to build a more equitable, healthier, and sustainable state. We look forward to working with Governor Murphy and our New Jersey partners to advance the shared agenda and strengthen the state’s commitments to clean water protection and environmental justice.
“NJ Audubon is delighted to have worked on this important policy document with the New Jersey LCV Ed Fund and our other environmental partners,” said Eric Stiles, president and CEO of NJ Audubon. “This policy guide provides an excellent overview of the myriad environmental and conservation issues facing our state. It serves as a helpful reference for all NJ decision makers and commends Governor Murphy for his efforts to advance the 2022 Common Agenda.”
“Strong protective rules and regulations are essential. Equally important is having the right people in place to guide the state. We encourage the administration to move quickly to appoint the best candidates to help protect the state’s environment and implement the rules and regulations we need,” said Julia Somers, New Jersey LCV President and Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition.
“We look forward to working with NJ LCV and our partners to advance these critical priorities,” said Tom Gilbert, co-executive director of the NJ Conservation Foundation. “There is an urgent need to address the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and solidify our commitment to a 100% clean, healthier and more prosperous energy future.”
“New Jersey LCV’s Green in 21 initiative addressed the state’s environmental challenges by outlining critical policies and funding to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Eric Miller, Director of NJ Energy Policy for the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The Green in 21 initiative and now the 2022 Common Legislative Agenda unites organizations, legislators, and communities around common goals that seek to make New Jersey a healthy and equitable place to live.”
“Water is life. We must act decisively across all of our watersheds to protect the right of every New Jersey resident to clean water, to improve our stormwater infrastructure, and to build our coastal resilience. Waterspirit is delighted to see these crucial strategic recommendations gaining momentum,” said Blair Nelsen, Executive Director of Waterspirit.
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