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2030 Climate Pollutants Target Letter

For Immediate Release

February 19, 2020

Dear Governor Phil Murphy, NJDEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe and BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso:

On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters, we are writing today to urge you to incorporate the following principles into implementation of the Global Warming Response Act.  As the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report* recently warned, in order to keep global warming at or below the internationally proposed 1.5oC target, global net human-caused emissions of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030.  In other words, we must act aggressively and quickly.

Neither the existing Global Warming Response Act (GWRA) statute(s) or the draft Energy Master Plan (EMP) state any goals for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2030.  Both documents only have goals for 2050.  A 45% reduction would mean that NJ’s target GHG emissions for 2030 should be 62MMT (million metric tons).  Recent analyses completed for the EMP show a number of possible pathways to achieve 2050 goals that each fall significantly short of reducing emissions 45% by 2030.  For example, the IEP preferred pathway shows only approximately a 33% reduction by 2030 to about 75MMT.  Unless the world achieves substantial emissions reductions by 2030, it will overshoot the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement.

The strengthening amendments to GWRA, which you signed into law this summer, require NJ DEP to establish interim benchmarks, complete the GWRA report, and adopt regulations to meet interim and 2050 targets within certain timeframes. It is critical that the NJ DEP set an unconditional GHG reduction goal for 2030 that supports the 1.5°C goal.

The GWRA, which is state law, is a strong existing mechanism to achieve implementation of the EMP goals on GHG reductions. The Administration should make implementation of the GWRA a top priority given the urgency of the climate crisis.

  • NJ DEP should complete the GWRA report as soon as possible, rather than a full year, which the law allows.
  • NJ DEP should begin a rule-making process to develop regulations under the GWRA by early 2020, and seek to complete it within one year (rather than the 18 months the law allows).  Where necessary, NJ DEP should recommend any additional authority and programs needed to achieve the 2030 emissions target.
  • As the DEP creates new GWRA benchmarks and adopts associated regulations, it must also employ its full authority to regulate total GHGs under the 2005 NJ Air Pollution Control Act and Title IV Permits.

Therefore, the undersigned urge that Governor Murphy and members of the BPU and DEP who are involved in implementing the GWRA include an unconditional GHG reduction goal supportive of the 1.5°C goal.  Once this goal is set, the NJ DEP must move quickly to complete its GWRA report and rule making process.  When the IPCC report was written, 2030 was twelve years away.  It is now 10 years away, and we cannot afford to waste any precious time in responding to this global crisis.

The following organizations look forward to working with you to address the gravest environmental crisis humanity has ever faced, to protect all present and future generations around the world, while focusing on the rights of those communities and workers most impacted.

Sincerely,

32 BJ SEIU
350NJ-Rockland

AAUP-NJ

Already Devalued and Devastated Homeowners of Parsippany

Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey

Aquatherm Industries, Inc.

Banking on New Jersey

BlueWave NJ  

Bus for Progress

Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War

Central Jersey Environmental Defenders

Central Jersey Safe Energy Coalition, Inc.

Central NJ Climate Reality Chapter

Citizens United for Renewable Energy (CURE)

Clean Water Action

Clean Water Action NJ

Climate Reality- Northern NJ Chapter

ClimateMama

Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline NJ

Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains

Cooper River Indivisible

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Don't Gas the Meadowlands Coalition

Don't Gas the Pinelands

Eco-Poetry.org (Climate Crisis Literature and News)

Environment New Jersey

First Congregational Church

Franciscan Response to Fossil Fuels

Green Muslims of NJ

Green Party of Monmouth County NJ

GreenFaith

GreenFaith Bergen Circle

Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE)

Holland Township NJ Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline

Homeowners Against Land Taking (HALT-PennEast)

Hopewell Township Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline

Hudson County Sierra Club

Indivisible NJ 5th District

Investor Advocates for Social Justice

Kingwood Citizens Against the Pipeline

Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy Ministry NJ 

Make the Road New Jersey

New Jersey and New York Awareness Project for Climate Justice

New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers (NJ-ARP)

New Jersey Black Issues Convention

New Jersey Citizen Action

New Jersey Conservation Foundation

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters

New Jersey Policy Perspective

New Jersey Public Interest Research Group

New Jersey March For Science

New Jersey Sustainable Business Council 

New Jersey Work Environment Council

New Labor

NJ Forest Watch /FOSM

NJ Skylands Sunrise Hub

NJ State Industrial Union Council

NJ Working Families Alliance

NJ-08 For Progress

North Jersey Sierra Club

Northern NJ NOW

North Jersey Pipeline Walkers

Occupy Bergen County

Our Revolution Essex County

Our Revolution Monmouth

Our Revolution New Jersey

Our Revolution Ocean County

Our Revolution Passaic County

Our Revolution Somerset County

Our Revolution Union County

People Over Pipelines

Pequannock Seniors/Indivisible

Pinelands Preservation Alliance

RACS (Roseland Against the Compressor Station)

Ramapough Lenape Nation

Raritan Headwaters

Reform Jewish Voice of New Jersey

ReThink Energy NJ

Rutgers AAUP-AFT

Sierra Club

Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter

Skylands Group, NJ Sierra Club Chapter

SOMA Action

Surfrider Foundation Mid-Atlantic

Surfrider Foundation South Jersey

The Climate Mobilization - Hoboken Chapter

The Nature Conservancy, NJ Chapter

The New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

The Watershed Institute

The Wei LLC

Tri-State Transportation Campaign

UFCW Local 152

Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ

Vote Solar

Voters of Watchung Hills

Waterspirit

We The People NJ-07

Westfield 20/20

 

 

*The full name of the report is:  Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty