FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2022
For Further Information Contact:
Caryn Shinske (DEP/) (609) 984-1795
Virginia Pellerin (EDA) (609) 858-6915
Peter Peretzman (BPU) (609) 913-6237
TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Board of Public Utilities and Economic Development Authority are hosting a virtual public webinar on Thursday, June 9 to gather public comment about how the state should develop its next RGGI Strategic Funding Plan for projects supporting the Murphy Administration’s climate change, clean energy and environmental justice goals.
The webinar is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and is open to all who sign up at a Zoom meeting registration page. Speakers will describe the state’s various investments with auction proceeds that have been made under the current RGGI Strategic Funding Plan. Questions may be asked and comments will be accepted during the webinar, which will kickstart a 30-day public comment period for input on initial funding priorities for the new Strategic Funding Plan.
“Steering New Jersey toward a more sustainable, equitable future depends not only on reducing GHG emissions, but on public input and participation as well, especially in overburdened communities that will continue to face disproportionate environmental impacts as the severity of the climate crisis intensifies,” said Director of the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy Jane Cohen. “The next RGGI Strategic Funding Plan will continue to provide our state with opportunities to optimize the environmental justice, public health and economic benefits of these critical investments.”
“The Murphy Administration is committed to actions that will limit the worsening effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “The public's input into how we invest in our communities, particularly those that have born the greatest burden of impacts and pollution, to accelerate our efforts to confront the climate crisis and create economic growth is critical."
“As we continue our work to meet Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, there are many constructive uses for the RGGI funds,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “We are looking forward to public input to help us determine how we best direct the RGGI funding to improve the health and quality of life in the communities most negatively impacted by air pollution.”
“The NJEDA is committed to ensuring RGGI funds are directed toward projects that align with Governor Murphy’s goals for inclusive and equitable economic development,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “Protecting our environment can help to drive economic growth while enhancing the health of our state’s families. Hearing directly from New Jerseyans with innovative ideas for effectively investing RGGI funds will yield results for our communities today and for future generations.”
RGGI is a cap-and-trade agreement among 11Northeastern states dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electric generating sector. New Jersey invests its RGGI auction proceeds in programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drive forward projects that boost clean energy and create jobs, protect the health of residents in environmental justice communities and increase the resiliency of coastal communities.
New Jersey’s RGGI Strategic Funding Plan is reviewed every three years and updated to ensure investments are aligned across agencies to meet the Murphy Administration’s clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The next RGGI Strategic Funding Plan is for years 2023-2025 and will include a summary of the results achieved during the prior strategic funding period, as well as funding initiatives each state agency will sponsor during the next three-year period.
The EDA, DEP and BPU released the first RGGI Strategic Funding Plan in April 2020, which detailed how auction proceeds would be invested in climate change, clean energy and environmental justice projects for the years 2020 through 2022. More than $100 million from auction proceeds has been dedicated across the state during that time.Community members may also submit comments via www.nj.gov/rggi/engage.html through July 11. Feedback mechanisms on the webpage include a Share A Comment box, and feature a tool sponsored by the New Jersey Office of Innovation called All Our Ideas. Through All Our Ideas, community members can choose between two randomly generated climate solutions from a list developed by DEP, BPU and EDA staff. Users may select the solution that they believe is more important or they may write in an idea of their own. Voting results will be collected in real time and results will be considered as the next draft strategic funding plan is developed.