At an event marking Climate Week in New York, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 307 Wednesday, which increases New Jersey’s offshore wind goal by nearly 50% to 11,000 megawatts (MW) by 2040. The order moves the target beyond the state’s current goal of 7,500 MW and directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to study the feasibility of increasing it further.
“Extreme weather events and severe flooding across the country leave no room for doubt – the effects of climate change are becoming more impactful and more aggressive, and we must do the same,” said Murphy. “Our renewed and strengthened commitment to offshore wind development testifies to my Administration’s understanding that, regardless of our impressive success to date, there is always more that we can do to make New Jersey more sustainable while further advancing the state’s economic vitality.”
The governor also announced the release of the Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future report. Created by the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, it outlines recommendations for growing a demographically representative and inclusive green workforce as the state builds its clean energy ecosystem.
“The Board has already approved three offshore wind projects in its first two solicitations, totaling more than 3,700 MW and is now preparing for its third solicitation of 1,200 MW in the first quarter of 2023,” said NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso. “Creating a workforce to meet the needs of this burgeoning industry is critical to the success of creating a clean energy future and combatting climate change.”
“Today’s actions take us a few steps forward towards Gov. Murphy’s goal of becoming a 100%-green-energy state by 2050,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, honorary chair of the Council on the Green Economy. “When that day comes, the Council on the Green Economy will have created an equitable workforce of well trained and skilled climate literate professionals who will continue to fight for generations to come against climate change.”
“New Jersey will depend on a highly trained workforce to ensure Gov. Murphy’s energy goals are met as our state positions itself as a national model for renewable energy sectors,” said fellow co-chair, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
Murphy introduced an Offshore Wind jobs analysis, as well, and highlighted $10 million in new investments that will support a One Year Action Plan designed to generate gainful jobs in the green economy.
“As we set our sights on even bolder offshore wind targets, we will strive toward the equitable development of a green economy that produces good-paying jobs, wage parity, and long-term career opportunities for future generations,” said Jane Cohen, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy.
Several private sector partners, including Unilever, DSM, Huge Neu, IKEA, Siemens, United Airlines and Hackensack Meridian Health committed to the effort by signing the Corporate Green Jobs Pledge.
Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, praised the Climate Week initiatives and said the organization looks forward to digging into the Green Jobs report. “New Jersey is working to create a clean energy economy that will produce a healthy and clean environment and good-local union jobs,” he said. “These good-local union jobs cannot be outsourced and will provide a fair wage that can sustain a middle-class lifestyle.”
The announcements were made at an U.S. Climate Alliance event alongside New York Gov. Kathy Hochul where Murphy emphasized his commitment to building an inclusive green workforce and achieving that 100% clean energy state economy by 2050.
“Indeed, the groundbreaking report prepared under the aegis of the Council of the Green Economy proves, now more than ever, that environmental health and economic health are inextricably connected,” said Murphy.
New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan said the signing of the executive order serves as a testament to the administration’s promise of a cleaner, safer future for New Jerseyans, accompanied by thousands of good-paying jobs.
“The Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future report demonstrates that the state is cultivating its offshore wind industry in a thoughtful, methodical manner,” he said. “By helping to ensure equity and inclusiveness, and through the willingness of private and public leaders to support the growth of this critical sector, we can – and will – secure New Jersey’s leadership in the global offshore wind arena.”