EmpowerNJ's 2021 Mission Statement
- Enact a moratorium on all new or expansion fossil fuel projects to protect our health and prevent any additional increase in climate destroying greenhouse gases (GHGs).
- Immediate implementation of policies to achieve a 45% reduction of GHG emissions in NJ from their 2010 levels by the year 2030 per the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning. Emissions reductions must be prioritized in environmental justice communities.
- Implement an urgent comprehensive plan to move NJ off fossil fuels while creating green jobs, environmental justice and an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that rapidly and equitably transitions to 100% clean renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, economy wide, no later than 2035.
Governor Murphy has described climate change as “the single greatest long-term threat currently facing humanity, and our state and economy are uniquely vulnerable to its devastating effects.” While his administration has taken steps that will eventually lead to reductions in GHGs, EmpowerNJ views these as being wholly insufficient in terms of both volume and timing.
A 2018 report by the IPCC stated we may have as little as 12 years to reduce GHG emissions by 45 percent to avoid catastrophic climate change. The NJ Global Warming Response Act (GWRA) 80x50 Report published in 2020 calls for “steep and permanent reductions in GHG emissions over the next several years.” However, as of February 2021, GHG reductions due to specific Murphy Administration existing rules and programs have been minimal, and we now have nine years left to reach the IPCC’s 2030 goal, grow the economy and avert climate catastrophe. Moreover, New Jersey has yet to produce a detailed plan with specific programs, regulations and quantified annual milestones. The Administration’s developing Protect Against Climate Threats (PACT) rules are not on track to achieve the necessary GHG reductions. New Jersey must move much more rapidly to make significant GHG reductions in order to mitigate climate change. The three elements of EmpowerNJ’s mission are focused on this objective.
Scope of EmpowerNJ Programs
The NJ Global Warming Response Act (GWRA) set a goal of reducing GHGs in NJ by 80% by 2050 (over 2006 levels). It measures GHG emissions from seven sectors and identifies recommended actions to reduce GHGs in each. The seven sectors are: transportation, residential/commercial, electric generation, industrial, waste and agriculture, short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) and carbon sequestration.
Achieving our goals requires that New Jersey rapidly reduce GHG emissions in the first six sectors and increase carbon sequestration in the seventh. Unfortunately, plans to construct new fossil fuel infrastructures in the energy sector and plans that will increase GHG emissions or prevent sequestration are appearing regularly in other sectors. These are major impediments to reaching our goals. As a result, EmpowerNJ has been forced to spend the bulk of its resources opposing these projects and programs.
EmpowerNJ has, and will continue to, promote and respond to policies and projects in all sectors in order to move NJ more rapidly towards significant GHG reductions beyond the electricity sector. Recent examples include transportation (Turnpike widening plan), SLCP (methane and black carbon) and carbon sequestration (logging) as each of these plays an important role in achieving our GHG reduction goals. We also strongly support other critical objectives associated with reducing GHGs including reducing/eliminating air pollution, a just transition to a green economy, making New Jersey more resilient including strategic retreat to allow for existing targeted coastal ecosystems to shift landward due to climate change, and protecting our water supply.
Please join our growing coalition to demand a timely end to GHGs in New Jersey and to move us rapidly towards a 100% renewable future and green economy.
See a list of our coalition members here.
See a downloadable copy of our mission here.