|Sustainability and Green Energy promotes and supports programs that both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve and expand natural carbon sinks such as forests, soils and wetlands to ensure compliance with the NJ Global Warming Response Act. In addition, SAGE promotes and supports initiatives designed to help New Jersey to adapt to climate-related impacts that are unavoidable.
There is broad scientific consensus that the earth’s climate is changing rapidly because of human activities that generate greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases trap heat from the sun, causing changes in the world's weather patterns. The most common greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels in vehicles and power plants, methane from landfills and livestock production, and nitrous oxide from farming. Other important greenhouse gases certain refrigerants and industrial gases such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.
Climate change poses significant and wide-ranging threats to New Jersey’s economy and environment, and the health and safety of its residents. Sea-level rise, droughts, heat-related illness, flooding, and habitat loss are among the impacts the state could face in the coming years.
Jersey’s response to global
Based on sound science and consideration of New Jersey’s economic goals, New Jersey enacted the Global Warming Response Act in 2007. This law requires stabilization of statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, followed by a further reduction to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050. It is essential that New Jersey meet these limits in order to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate change.
Meeting the requirements of the Global Warming Response Act and determining how best to adapt to those climate-related impacts throughout New Jersey that are unavoidable will involve the combined efforts of many other programs within the DEP, as well as those of other state agencies.
Many of these other agencies and programs are already involved in addressing climate change in New Jersey. DEP programs include the DEP Air Program, DEP Coastal Management Program and DEP Office of Science. State agencies working in collaboration with DEP include the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, New Jersey Transit, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.