Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) held a press conference yesterday to announce the investment of more than $100 million into statewide clean transportation efforts and the signing of an executive order creating the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy.
Murphy said this investment furthers the promise that the state made when they signed legislation in September 2020 to help protect residents’ rights to a cleaner environment.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which his administration rejoined at the beginning of his term, has raised approximately $94 million this year for the state to invest in clean energy projects, he said. Additionally, the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds have provided the state with another $45 million toward the investment.
“These projects, which range from electric school buses and garbage trucks to e-mobility projects to port and cargo handling equipment and investment in the electrification of NJ Transit buses, show the sheer breadth of transformation ahead of us,” he said.
Murphy said these efforts will not only focus on environmental justice, but also will prioritize job creation and economic development throughout the state, with New Jersey residents benefitting both environmentally and economically.
In addition, he said the investments will continue the state’s journey toward fighting climate change and implementing a greener economy, with the ultimate goal of having 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.
The city of Newark, which he said has disproportionate rates of emissions and pollution, will specifically be getting financial awards including more than $1 million toward electric garbage trucks, approximately $2 million for charging stations for electric rideshare vehicles and $7 million for cargo handling equipment.
“These projects, and so many others, will make New Jersey stronger, fairer and healthier, both physically and economically,” Murphy said. “We understand that climate change is the single greatest long-term threat currently facing humanity and combating it will require a whole-of-government approach.”
In order to better coordinate New Jersey’s climate response, Murphy signed an executive order yesterday initiating the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, which he said will strategically lead the state’s climate agenda, develop new ideas and play an active role in the state’s movement toward a green economy.
The office will also strengthen relationships with policymakers on both the regional and federal levels, as well as oversee the newly formed New Jersey Council on the Green Economy, which will further enforce the state’s goal of reaching a green economy while also focusing on equity and justice, Murphy said.
“Climate change is a reality we must face,” he said. “Not with fear and apprehension, but with an understanding that the clean energy economy is a once in a generation opportunity for New Jersey.”