Governor Murphy Announces new Office on
Climate Action & the Green Economy
Statement from Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director, NJ Work Environment Council
Today, February 16, 2021, Governor Murphy signed a Executive Order 221 to create a new climate office with the goal to advance economic opportunities in an equitable manner in the new green economy. This includes the transition to clean renewable energy. The Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy will also oversee a newly created Council on the Green Economy that will advise on workforce development for tomorrow’s green economy jobs. Emphasis was placed on ensuring inclusion for BIPOC and low-income communities and good jobs.
Governor Murphy also announced investments of approximately $100 million from the Regional Green House Gas Initiative and Volkswagen settlement dollars, which will be invested in the transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a major emphasis on electrification and prioritizing environmental justice communities.
Debra Coyle McFadden made the following statement:
This is a big day for the environment and workers here in New Jersey. Since June 2020, WEC and our partners in Jersey Renews, have been advocating for a Just Green Recovery to help rebuild the economy from the devastating impacts caused by COVID-19 which led to sky high unemployment and record business closures. Today marks a major step forward to a green recovery. With the announcement of a new Climate Action and Green Economy office the Governor has furthered his commitment to combating the impacts of climate change while creating good, union jobs.
The Council on the Green Economy will bring together stakeholders from inside and outside the government to build a path forward to ensure that NJ workers have the necessary skills and are ready to work in the green economy. It is critical to get this right. As Governor Murphy stated, “this is a once in a generation opportunity.” I couldn’t agree more.
I am also delighted to see more investments to electrify NJ Transit, cargo handling equipment at the Ports, and municipal garbage trucks among other investments in electrifying our transportation sector. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. I hope the next step will be to look at public procurement policies that prioritizes good union jobs, local manufacturing, and inclusion of people of color and women. WEC looks forward to continuing to work with Governor Murphy to ensure that we continue to grow our green economy in a way that is good for NJ workers and the environment.
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