Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

DEP Global Warming Plan Embraces Smart Growth, Sustainable Transportation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 22, 2009

CONTACT:
Chris Sturm, Senior Director of State Policy, (609) 213-4673 or
Jay Corbalis, Policy Analyst, (609) 393-0008, ext. 110

New Jersey Future today applauded the release of the state’s long-overdue report to combat global warming in New Jersey, an important milestone in meeting the mandate of the 2007 Global Warming Response Act. The report presents action steps to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, while positioning the state to meet its more aggressive 2050 target of an 80 percent reduction below 2006 levels.

“A broad group of stakeholders worked over the past year to push recommendations that would ensure all New Jersey residents have convenient alternatives to driving for getting around, including walking, biking and taking transit,” said New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach. “We’re delighted to see a comprehensive plan that embraces smart growth, and we look forward to working with the incoming administration to put it into action.”

“We applaud the Department of Environmental Protection for releasing a comprehensive list of recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020,” said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a regional policy watchdog organization. “We are particularly pleased that the report calls for establishing a dedicated source of funding for NJ Transit operations. Providing more public transportation options is critical to reducing our emissions and improving mobility for the state’s residents.”

Transportation represents the largest and fastest-growing source of carbon emissions in New Jersey, but the draft Global Warming Response Act Recommendation Report issued in December 2008 came up empty on action steps for reshaping land use and transportation decisions.

In response, a large group of environmental, business, development, transportation and planning organizations began working together to recommend a more comprehensive approach. Many offered testimony last winter on the draft report. In March 2009, 10 of the member groups–New Jersey Future, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, CMX Engineering, New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association, PlanSmartNJ, Municipal Land Use Center, Rowan University Geography Department and Regional Plan Association–sent a letter to Governor Jon Corzine urging him to embrace land-use strategies to combat global warming.

The final report incorporates most of the groups’ requests, such as using the existing State Development and Redevelopment Plan to encourage more sustainable growth, increasing transit ridership and laying the groundwork for growth that builds on the investment in the ARC tunnel.

The challenge now falls to Governor-elect Chris Christie to embrace and implement the strategies presented in the plan. “By encouraging transit-oriented development and coordinated land-use policy at the state level, this plan provides the new governor with a blueprint for sustainable economic growth that will help us combat global warming while expanding our economy,” said New Jersey Future’s Kasabach.

 

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