The Jersey City Council is set to vote on the Climate and Energy Action Plan on Thursday, which projects $21 million in savings over the next 20 years, while also funding another $19 million in capital needs.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This Action Plan expands upon our efforts in the fight to protect our environment with actionable steps to mitigate climate change, increase resiliency, invest in a green economy, and ensure equity,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“The consequences of climate change disproportionately impact minority and low-income communities, and so it is especially important for Jersey City to continue our aggressive and progressive efforts by incorporating community feedback to address our environment’s worst health offenders.”
High impact actions for reducing GHG emissions under the plan include:
· Requiring 100% clean energy for municipal facilities by 2030.
· Benchmarking for all new buildings over 25,000 square feet.
· Meeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2025 for new buildings over 50,000 sf.
· Developing clean energy workforce opportunities and training programs.
· Retrofitting buildings utilizing the NJ Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP).
· Electrifying 100% of the eligible municipal fleet by 2030.
· Developing a Zero Waste Plan with aggressive waste reduction targets and strategies.
· Leveraging existing transit to improve and expand (Citi Bike, Via, PATH, NJ Transit).
· Requiring food businesses in Jersey City to compost or recycle food waste.
Drawing from local community input and analyzing best practices used around the world, the Action Plan is a roadmap to implement measures in Jersey City.
“With this plan, we brought in many voices to create a clear course of action to achieve our climate and sustainability goals. The result is a community-focused Climate and Energy Action Plan that will lead to measurable results,” noted Kate Lawrence, the Jersey City Director of the Office of Sustainability.
The plan utilizes both common sense approaches and cutting-edge policies to reduce energy use and waste, create local jobs, improve air quality, preserve our local landscape and history, minimize risk to people and property, and benefit the physical environment we depend on for years to come.
The program is made possible through a partnership with Secaucus-based energy firm Schneider Electric, which was first outlined back in March.
“Jersey City is uniquely vulnerable to the impact of storm surges and flooding, and the future impacts of change will exacerbate the impacts of the heat island impact and worse air pollution,” added Environment New Jersey Director Doug O’Malley.
“Mayor Fulop’s Administration has consistently worked to drive a path towards a more sustainable City that pushes all sectors to do better to reduce global warming pollution and make Jersey City more green. The Climate and Energy Action Plan lays out that vision — and provides a roadmap on how Jersey City can be a national urban climate leader.”