Meeting New Jersey’s 2020 Greenhouse Gas Limit: New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act Recommendations Report
There is broad scientific consensus that human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are impacting the earth’s climate, and that increasing atmospheric GHG concentrations will result in very significant adverse global, regional, and local environmental impacts. The Northeastern United States is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with potentially devastating ecological, economic and public health impacts to New Jersey. Not only does climate change threaten New Jersey’s shoreline and ecology, but the socioeconomic impacts of climate change stand to be profound and costly.
Recognizing this immediate need, New Jersey enacted the Global Warming Response Act (GWRA) (P.L. 2007, c.112) on July 6, 2007. The GWRA calls for a reduction in GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, approximately a 20 percent reduction below estimated 2020 business-as-usual emissions, followed by a further reduction of emissions to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050. As required under the Act, this report specifically provides the Governor, Treasurer and the State Legislature with recommendations for achieving the 2020 statewide GHG limit. The report also recognizes the contributions that a set of other public policies, not developed primarily to address climate change, will have on reducing statewide GHG emissions.
This report includes an array of recommendations and related actions, including legislative, regulatory and market-based measures, which provide a balance that will allow New Jersey to meet its statewide GHG limits without unduly burdening any one particular sector or industry. This report provides a comprehensive technical and financial framework for decision making on a range of specific actions that can be taken to reduce GHG emissions in New Jersey.