At the Clean Energy Conference in Atlantic City Oct. 3, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the launch of the Clean Buildings Working Group.
According to a release from Murphy’s office, the Working Group – a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy (OCAGE) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) – will serve as a cross-sector collaborative of stakeholders and experts in industry, government, building science, organized labor, environmental justice and workforce development that will inform the decision-making process for greener, cleaner buildings in the Garden State.
It is the latest in a series of aggressive efforts by Murphy to reduce emissions in New Jersey while transitioning to a more clean energy economy.
“Accomplishing our aggressive but achievable emissions reduction targets requires a comprehensive approach to climate action, one that unites the state, labor, industry, and communities in pursuit of a common goal,” said Murphy. “Public and private entities must work not only together, but hand in hand with the communities they serve, to explore every possible avenue to for climate mitigation. From the buildings in which we live and work to the vehicles that safely bring us there, my administration remains committed to a multi-pronged approach to emissions reduction in New Jersey.”
“Climate impacts will affect us all, and so the strategies we deploy must similarly involve all New Jerseyans, from business and labor leaders to communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis,” said OCAGE Executive Director Jane Cohen. “The Clean Buildings Working Group will ensure that every voice is heard as we pursue the decarbonization of the buildings sector, a critical component of the administration’s efforts to significantly reduce emissions while spurring green buildings job growth.”
The group will include representatives from the state’s BPU Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Community Affairs, Economic Development Authority and the Department of Treasury, as well as several stakeholders from a range of labor unions, trades, businesses and other organizations.
BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said his organization is excited to collaborate with the new group.
“Building decarbonization remains a priority of the Board and is a key aspect of the Energy Master Plan,” he said.
Fiordaliso believes that bringing together a cohort of experts under this one umbrella will do more than just develop innovative solutions while receiving stakeholder input. “But to achieve the buy in of all the key interested partiers that will help us achieve the best solution or solutions possible,” he said.
Following the collection of insight and input, the Working Group will help guide the state’s roadmap to clean buildings, laying out recommendations for policy, legislation, and workforce and funding strategies to further those efforts.d