New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act Recommendations Report
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. A draft of this report was issued for stakeholder comment in December 2008. All of the climate specific recommendations and related actions in this final report take into consideration the numerous comments received by the State during its stakeholder period. As demonstrated throughout the report, meeting the State’s ambitious GHG limits will require not only long-term measures, but also immediate actions that will both stabilize GHG emissions in the short-term and create a foundation for the carbon-neutral future required to meet the 2050 limit. Attaining the State’s 2050 limit (approximately 26 MMT CO2eq) will also provide ancillary benefits of transforming the New Jersey economy to one that drives creation of “green” jobs by making clean energy and technologies a cornerstone of the State’s economy.
As highlighted by the scope and nature of the recommendations and related actions included in this report, global climate change affects all aspects of our lives, and the scope of measures needed to meet New Jersey’s GHG limits is extensive. Therefore, 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.