Seeking to better understand and reverse the effects of climate change, legislation (A-4606) requiring New Jersey’s state agencies to use a 20-year time horizon, versus the 100-year time horizon, to calculate the ‘global warming potential’ and environmental impact of greenhouse gases was signed into law by the Governor on Monday.
Sponsors issued the following statements:
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon): “The threat of global warming increases every day while the President has given up our leadership position in curbing greenhouse gases on the world’s stage. Through this law, New Jersey will take firm and calculated steps on how we regulate our emissions. Understanding that not all pollutants have the same impact on the Earth’s warming, measuring the global warming potential of gases over a 20-year time span will allow us to craft public policies that enable the State to better address how we’ll combat global warming.”
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson): “The science is clear: climate change is real, serious and can potentially do irreversible damage to the planet and its inhabitants, including us. With this fact established, we must take every step necessary to protect the wellbeing of the only planet we call home. By switching from a 100-year time horizon to a 20-year time horizon, we will be able to more accurately represent the short-term effects of greenhouse gases on the environment, and prevent these short-term effects from becoming long-term.”
Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic): “Time is running out for us to save our planet from the destruction of climate change. We don’t have 100-year periods to study the impact of greenhouse gases anymore; the time for that has passed. If we are to tackle this difficult issue, we must act swiftly and definitively. By utilizing a 20-year time horizon to study greenhouse gases, we will better be able to develop policies which work in the best short-and-long-term interest for our environment and our residents.”
The law takes effect immediately.