Murphy announces newest set of initiatives to combat climate change and power ‘Next New Jersey’

Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking Wednesday in New Brunswick at Rutgers University,
announced a series of new and accelerated targets and commitments to build upon the administration’s nation-leading climate action record.

Murphy said he is not looking for a short-term fix. Not when it comes to the economy, schools and certainly not when it comes to the state’s clean energy goals.

To that end, Murphy said he signed three Executive Orders on Wednesday that will bolster the state’s already-robust climate adaptation and mitigation efforts through an accelerated target of 100% clean energy by 2035, ambitious goal setting for electrification of the state’s building sector and collaborative planning for the future of the state’s natural gas utilities.

Additionally, the state will offer new grant funding for heavy-duty electric vehicles, initiate the process to adopt Advanced Clean Cars II in New Jersey and ensure 100% of new cars sold in 2035 are zero-emission vehicles, and enact rules to enhance flood protection in riverine and coastal areas.

“These bold targets and carefully crafted initiatives signal our unequivocal commitment to swift and concrete climate action today,” Murphy said. “We’ve turned our vision for a greener tomorrow into a responsible and actionable roadmap to guide us, and it’s through that pragmatic, evidence-based approach that we will ultimately arrive at our destination. Combined with our federal partnerships reinforced through the Inflation Reduction Act, these comprehensive initiatives will better protect and prepare every New Jersey community, including those on the front lines of climate change who have previously been left out and left behind.”

Murphy highlighted all the strides his administration has made and pointed to all the efforts under his governing that have charted a more responsible path for future development and one that builds with long-range environmental impacts front-of-mind. They include:

  • Reentering the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative;
  • Rejoining a collaborative multistate partnership to curb carbon emissions;
  • Moving at a fast pace to begin an ambitious offshore wind programs;
  • Investing heavily in electric vehicle infrastructure;
  • Expanding solar power programs; and
  • Offering incentives for adaptive building reuse and energy efficiency into new business attraction and retention programs.

The governor also outlined six pillars that he said will serve as the foundation for a cleaner, greener and more resilient New Jersey:

  • Adoption through Executive Order No. 315 of an accelerated target of 100% clean energy by 2035;
  • Adoption through Executive Order No. 316 of a target to install zero-carbon-emission space heating and cooling systems in 400,000 homes and 20,000 commercial properties and make 10% of all low-to-moderate income properties electrification-ready by 2030;
  • Initiation through Executive Order No. 317 of a process in partnership with the state’s hometown utilities, key stakeholders including organized labor, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to plan for the future of the natural gas utility in New Jersey;
  • Allocation of $70 million in unobligated Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction proceeds toward lowering consumer upfront costs for medium- and heavy-duty EV adoption;
  • Initiation of the stakeholdering process to adopt Advanced Clean Cars II in New Jersey, which would require all new cars and light-duty truck sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035; and
  • Anticipated proposal of the NJ PACT REAL rules in summer 2023, which will provide enhanced flood protection for homeowners, businesses and infrastructure against increased flooding in riverine and coastal areas.

“Gov. Murphy has led New Jersey to the forefront in the fight against climate change,” New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan said. “These bold, transformative initiatives will help safeguard our environment, improve the health of New Jerseyans and secure our economic future. The steps announced today will bolster our transition to 100% clean energy and create high-quality, good-paying jobs now and in the years to come.”