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Global Warminga Solutions Act: How New Jersey Has Acted on Climate Change

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By    |   Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 03:46 PM

Like many other U.S. states, New Jersey seeks to reverse the dangerous effects of climate change through measures intended to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Such as California did with its Global Warming Solutions Act, N.J. lawmakers enacted in 2007 the Global Warming Response Act, which requires the "stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions statewide to 1990 levels by 2020," according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The mandate will continue to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050.

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Other programs New Jersey has inacted that will help meet these goals include:
  • The Clean Car Program (January 2006). The measure requires automakers to reduce fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicles they sell in N.J. by 30 percent by 2016.
  • The Renewable Portfolio Standard. Under a state-issued mandate, N.J. requires that utility companies use renewable energy to meet 6.5 percent of customers' electricity needs by 2009.
  • The Consolidated Energy Savings Program. Run by the state's treasury department, the program uses renewable energy for 13 percent of total electric demand for state facilities.
  • The Cool Cities Initiative. Launched in the fall of 2003, its purpose was to plant trees in the state's larger cities to make cooler, more comfortable urban environments, which in turn would reduce air pollution and electricity demand.
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Not everyone supports the climate change plans. Since taking office in 2010, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn't supported environment-friendly causes, according to ThinkProgress.org. In 2011 he ended his state's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program that sought to reduce CO2 pollution from power plants.

Despite a May 2014 N.J. Superior Court ruling that Christie didn't follow proper legal procedure in withdrawing, the governor has no intentions to rejoin, and has vetoed two bipartisan bills that would've done exactly that, according to The New York Times, which suggested that Christie's move is rooted in a possible presidential run.

New Jersey had been a founding member of the now nine-state cooperative under former Democratic Gov. Richard Codey.

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Like many other U.S. states, New Jersey seeks to reverse the dangerous effects of climate change through measures intended to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Such as California did with its Global Warming Solutions Act, N.J. lawmakers enacted in 2007 the Global Warming Response Act.
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