Jersey City Combats Climate Change with City’s First Climate and Energy Action Plan
Posted on 06/15/2021

View the Climate and Energy Action Plan here.

JERSEY CITY -- Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Jersey City Office of Sustainability announce today Jersey City’s first Climate and Energy Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by advancing projects that not only improve residents’ quality of life but also save energy and money. The Action Plan consists of over 50 individual actions for reducing our carbon footprint, including a new Community Solar Program specifically for renters and low-income homeowners, energy and emission requirements for new and municipal buildings citywide, and provides the strategic framework for other wide- ranging efforts to decrease the City’s environmental impacts.

Following over six years of data collection, strategic planning, and public engagement, the scope of the plan spans three pillars of integrated climate action: mitigation, adaptation, and equity. 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 sf.
  • 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.

“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,” said Mayor Fulop. “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.”

Drawing from local community input and analyzing best practices used around the world, the Action Plan is a roadmap to implement meaningful measures in Jersey City. 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.

“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,” said Kate Lawrence, Director of the Office of Sustainability.

The Fulop Administration is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80-percent by the year 2050, further aligning with the broader vision of enacting real change for the benefit of Jersey City residents now and for generations to come.

“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. 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,” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey. “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.”

Jersey City remains at the forefront in addressing our environment’s greatest challenge, and the Climate and Energy Action Plan looks to build upon efforts already underway, including building a robust bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, switching our municipal fleet to fully electric vehicles (including the first electric garbage trucks on the entire East Coast), becoming the first in the state to ban plastic bags, installing public and municipal use, among other important initiatives we have embraced to tackle the environmental realities of the 21st century. In fact, as part of Jersey City’s first Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) currently being implemented, it is estimated that the City will save taxpayers $21 million in energy and operational costs while funding over $19 million in urgent capital needs.

The Jersey City Climate and Energy Action Plan will go before the City Council at the next scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

All media inquiries should be directed to Kimberly Scalcione at [email protected].