Gov. Phil Murphy has announced a plan to spend more than $100 million on what are described as clean, equitable transportation projects that will reduce the effects of climate change and improve air quality.

“We understand that climate change is the single greatest long-term threat currently facing humanity and combating it will require a whole of government approach," Murphy said Tuesday during an event in Newark the governor. “These projects and so many others will make New Jersey stronger, fairer and healthier both physically and economically."

Murphy said $94 million in proceeds from New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and $45 million from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds settlement will pay for electric school buses and garbage trucks, port and cargo handling equipment and adding electric buses to NJ Transit's fleet.

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He said this will help to move the state toward 100% clean energy by 2050 while also creating jobs.

"Our response to the threat of climate change presents an opportunity to make New Jersey the nation’s leader of the green economy, creating family sustaining jobs and opportunity for our state," he said.

Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy

He also signed an executive order establishing the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, saying it will focus on addressing climate change, ensuring New Jersey’s clean energy future and transitioning to a green economy while prioritizing equity and environmental justice.

The executive director of the office is Jane Cohen, the senior policy advisor to the governor on environment and energy.

He also announced the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy will oversee the creation of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy. First lady Tammy Murphy will serve as honorary chairwoman alongside the labor and environment commissioners and the president of the Board of Public Utilities serving as co-chairmen.

According to the governor’s office, members of the council will include representatives from other state departments as well representatives from chambers of commerce, organized labor, industry, utilities, green business, environmental justice communities, academia, small business, workforce development and environmental advocacy.

Environmental projects announced by Murphy

  • $9 million in grants for local electric garbage and delivery trucks in environmental justice communities.
  • $13 million in grants for electric school buses and shuttle buses in low- and moderate-income communities
  • $5 million in grants for electric vehicle ride hailing and charging stations in four municipalities
  • $5 million in grants for deployment of fast-charging infrastructure at 27 locations
  • $36 million to reduce diesel and black carbon emissions in environmental justice communities by electrifying port, cargo handling, and other medium- and heavy-duty equipment
  • $15 million for NJ Transit bus electrification
  • $15 million in flex funding for these projects

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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