Friday, September 22, 2017

NJ won't reach its 2050 climate goals without changes

New report says state lacks coherent, comprehensive strategy to significantly reduce carbon footprint by midcentury

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

smog
The state is going to require much steeper reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions to reach a goal to lower carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2050, according to a new report by researchers at the Rutgers Climate Institute.
A decade after New Jersey enacted the Global Warming Response Act, the report found the state lacks a detailed and comprehensive strategy to achieve its goal and warned its emissions trajectory under current policies is inconsistent with the mid-century target.
The 179-page report is likely to provide a blueprint to the next administration on what steps may be needed to curb GHG emissions by 80 percent, which will require a 76 percent reduction from today’s pollution levels.

Smaller carbon footprint

But it stops short of making specific recommendations while examining a range of policies that other states are trying in an effort to reduce their carbon footprints, as well as many strategies frequently debated among New Jersey policymakers.
“The good news in New Jersey is that there’s a lot of existing authority and programs to advance the sort of climate action we need to meet the 2050 limits,’’ said Jeanne Herb, associate director of the Environmental Analysis and Communications Group at Rutgers-New Brunswick’s Bloustein School and one of the report’s authors.
The bad news is some of those policies have been talked about and lobbied at length without ever happening. Among the actions that could be taken with existing authority are steps to develop offshore wind capacity along the Jersey coast; mandates to achieve targeted reductions in energy use; and rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate effort to curb global warming pollution from power plants.

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