New Jersey Activists Work to Reverse RGGI Pull-out; New York State Supports ‘Climate-Smart Communities’
October 14th, 2011 by Chris Sturm
In rallies in Princeton, Asbury Park and Rutherford yesterday, environmental activists urged legislators and the Governor to keep New Jersey in the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). When Governor Christie announced his intention to pull New Jersey out of RGGI last May, New Jersey Future described the loss of expected benefits from RGGI, including funding for alternative energy, energy efficiency and resources for financially strapped municipalities to plan for sustainable land-use and transportation projects that reduce carbon emissions and energy use.
Meanwhile, another RGGI member, New York State, is taking the initiative a step further by helping local governments combat climate change through the Climate-Smart Communities program. This partnership between the state and local communities aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayer dollars through climate smart actions that also promote community goals of health and safety, affordability, economic vitality and quality of life.
Fortunately, New Jersey municipalities have a strong resource in the Sustainable Jersey certification program, which is run as a partnership by the League of Municipalities’ Mayors Committee for a Green Future and the Municipal Land Use Center at the College of New Jersey, with the support of nonprofit organizations like New Jersey Future as well as New Jersey state agencies. We will continue to work with the Christie administration and the Legislature to line up additional tools and resources — including existing programs, capital spending and regulations — to help our communities grow sustainably.