Gov. Phil Murphy announced $100 million in clean transportation projects as part of a larger effort to bring New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2050.
The funding, resulting from the the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds, will be used to bring electrification programs, equitable mobility projects, and electric charging infrastructure to environmental justice communities across the state.
Additionally, the governor signed Executive Order No. 221 which establishes the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy.
“The investments we are announcing signify our commitment to environmental justice and equity, while building a cleaner economy that works for all,” stated Murphy at a press briefing Feb. 17 in Newark. “The newly created Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, coupled with the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy, will use our trademark innovation and talented workforce to make New Jersey a national leader of the green economy.”
This department will be housed within the Governor’s Office, with Jane Cohen, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor on Environment and Energy, named as Executive Director.
“Addressing climate change requires bold and intentional government action,” said Cohen. “The Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy will lead this challenging work and bring a diverse mix of experts to the table so that New Jersey can seize on the opportunity to be a leader in environmental justice and the transition to an equitable clean energy economy.”
The $100 million investment would be used to fund a variety of clean transportation projects, ranging from local government electrification projects to funding designed to reduce diesel and black carbon emissions.
Other projects included:
- $13 million in grants for low- and moderate-income communities to reduce emissions that affect our children’s air quality through the deployment of electric school buses and shuttle buses
- $5 million in grants for equitable mobility projects that will bring electric vehicle ride hailing and charging stations to four New Jersey towns and cities
- $5 million in grants for deployment of fast charging infrastructure at 27 locations statewide
“Gov. Murphy’s plan to address the immediate impacts of climate change on our communities prioritizes equity and sustainable growth to help ensure that everyone can participate in and benefit from a green economy,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver.
In addition to Cohen, the new office would be led by First Lady Tammy Murphy as Honorary Chair and co-chaired by the commissioners of Labor, Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and the President of the Board of Public Utilities. Members of the council will include representatives from chambers of commerce, organized labor, industry, utilities, green business, environmental justice communities, academia, small business, workforce development, and environmental advocacy.
Under Murphy’s executive order, the council within one year are mandated to deliver an initial report of its recommendations for a comprehensive and coordinated green economy strategy that includes sustainable economic growth and development; accelerates the growth of green jobs and facilitates green workforce development; and provides appropriate support for workers potentially displaced in course of the state’s transition to a green economy.
“Moving toward clean energy and environmental justice is not just vital for protecting our environment and increasing equity, it is also good economic policy,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Building New Jersey’s green economy will create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and increase access to opportunities in marginalized communities.”