Climate change poses a serious threat to the future of New Jersey’s environment, economy, and the health and welfare of the people of our state. The growing crisis will impact every corner of the state. If global warming pollution across the world continues to rise, New Jersey will be a different place in 100 years, with an altered coastline, greater extremes of rainfall and drought, higher levels of smog pollution, and shifts in the plant and animal species that call New Jersey home.
New Jersey’s poor and middle class communities are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. But the truth is, as a small and highly developed coastal state, no one will be exempt. In fact, people all across the state have already suffered enormously at the hands of climate change. Extreme weather, such as we faced with Hurricane Sandy, and smog pollution have both threatened our people’s health and safety and have brought on devastating financial hardship.
The climate crisis could not be more urgent, and to tackle it, New Jersey Citizen Action is committed to fighting the expansion of dirty energy sources and building a future powered 100% by clean, renewable sources. It’s a really big task, and NJCAEF is working in alliance with many of New Jersey’s leading environmental groups to tackle it.
Clean Energy for a Bright Future
New Jersey must do its share to reduce global warming pollution and set an example for other states and the nation to follow. The solutions to climate change are simple, and readily available. We must phase out dirty energy sources, quickly phase in clean energy, and take aggressive steps to reduce the amount of energy we use through efficiency and conservation measures.
New Jersey was once poised to play a major role in U.S. progress to address climate change. But now we are falling behind neighboring states in reducing our carbon footprint. Governor Chris Christie has pulled our state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), dismantled funding and momentum on wind and solar energy development, and he’s failed to implement the 2007 Global Warming Response Act, which has the potential to cut global warming pollution dramatically.
New Jersey needs policymakers, including a Governor, who will take the threat of climate change seriously and act appropriately and quickly to re-join RGGI, expand clean energy solutions, adopt aggressive efficiency measures, and fully implement the Global Warming Response Act. As part of achieving the reductions in pollution needed to avert the worst effects of climate change, New Jersey must join the growing movement of states and nations striving for a carbon free future by phasing our all fossil fuel generated energy and building toward a future powered through 100% renewable, carbon free energy sources.
Unfortunately, our state is under pressure like never before, from giant energy companies, who want to expand dirty energy infrastructure in our state. Multiple mega pipelines are under construction or proposed that link fracked natural gas in Pennsylvania into and through New Jersey and onward to the rest if the northeast. Much of the pipelines, if built, will cut through and degrade environmentally sensitive lands, like the Pinelands, that past generations fought to protect.
Research has shown that the development of home grown clean energy sources can be a real boom to a state’s economy, and help expand good paying jobs in research, engineering, manufacturing and construction. NJCAEF is working hard to educate our policymakers on the need to act quickly and be a leader on clean energy. Doing so would not only help solve the climate crisis, but also allow us to corner a fast growing market by attracting clean energy companies to locate here.