Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Garden State will receive $3 million through a grant program established by the Inflation Reduction Act that was signed into law last August.
The funding, which comes to New Jersey via a newly established Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program, will go toward planning innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across the state. It will be used to augment planning already underway in New Jersey in collaboration with partners, including municipalities statewide, and conduct meaningful engagement, especially with overburdened communities that often the most impacted by climate change.
Later this year, the EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in funding to implement projects and initiatives derived from these plans.
In the announcement, the EPA noted that New Jersey met its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal years ahead of schedule and the state’s multiple efforts underway to mitigate climate change’s impact. The agency added that the funds will be used to support the state’s ongoing efforts to achieve a low carbon economy and reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, which includes expanding clean energy infrastructure and building resilient communities around the state.
EPA Regional Administrator Lisa Garcia also noted that New Jersey was among the first states to sign on to this “substantial opportunity.”
“New Jersey is a national climate leader and model for other states searching for ways to make the most out of the once-in-a-generation Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure resources,” said Garcia. “It is so important that states and local governments across the country take advantage of this planning funding, because behind it comes an even more substantial investment to do the work and governments that don’t opt in now can’t take advantage of that implementation funding later this year.”
Gov. Phil Murphy thanked the state congressional delegation and the EPA for funding and for “prioritizing and supporting innovative climate action.”
“Now more than ever, it’s clear that we must confront the urgency of the worsening climate crisis by leveraging every resource and tool at our disposal,” said Murphy. “These funds will provide support for updates to our foundational climate plans and allow us to further prioritize and implement our accelerated clean energy goals and ongoing efforts to build resilient communities across the state.”
“New Jersey is excited to advance its critical work of reducing and responding to climate change in partnership with our colleagues at USEPA whose support will bring more resources to our collective efforts,” said New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn LaTourette. “This historic program will enable us to accelerate New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act initiatives, which are centered on planning and implementing measures that reduce emissions of climate pollutants, improve air quality and public health, and better serve our communities.”