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             New Jersey is a leader in encouraging the development of regional strategies to address air pollution, since air pollutants can be transported across political boundaries. NJDEP has been an active participant in national and international organizations that strive to reduce air pollution, such as the Center for Clean Air Policy, the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone, the Ozone Transport Commission and the Ozone Transport Assessment Group.

                Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, primarily from carbon dioxide emissions, contribute to global warming with local sea level rise and flooding impacts, that threaten coastal communities and ecosystems. If sea levels continue to rise as predicted, the impact on coastal towns and tourism in New Jersey, as well as elsewhere, could be very serious. In addition, higher temperatures mean ." more summertime smog and air pollution threatening public health. Warmer temperatures also increase evaporation and, quite possibly, the frequency and intensity of both rainstorms and droughts.

If sea levels continue to rise as predicted, the impact on Coastal towns and tourism in New Jersey, as well as elsewhere, could be very serious.

                NJDEP formed a Climate Change Workgroup with representatives from other state agencies and the business and environmental communities to develop a plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). New Jersey was the first state in the nation with a specific goal for GHG reductions. GHG emissions are an indicator for the Sustainable State Project mentioned earlier. New Jersey's Greenhouse Gas Action Plan7 identifies cost effective strategies for achieving GHG reductions. On Earth Day 1998, New Jersey committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.5 percent below the 1990 level by the year 2005. This translates to a 14 percent, or 20.5 million metric-ton reduction per year in GHG emissions by 2005, compared to a business-as- usual scenario. When the action plan was adopted, the National Resource Defense Council and the Center for Clean Air Policy, two nongovernmental organizations, and USEPA all publicly commended New Jersey for establishing a model for the rest of the nation to follow. NJDEP kicked off its GHG program by signing sustainability covenants with some of New Jersey's largest companies who pledged to match New Jersey's goals. Recent reporting by this initial group of participants documents GHG emission reductions of more than one million metric tons.

                Since the GHG initiative began, all 56.presidents of the state's colleges and universities have signed the sustainability covenant pledging to help New Jersey meet its GHG reduction goal through implementation of reduction strategies at their facilities. Recently, the New Jersey School Boards Association and the interfaith community pledged to help New Jersey meet its GHG reduction goal. Businesses, counties and municipalities also have been joining in this goal by entering into partnership agreements with the NJDEP. NJDEP's plan has been used by people in other states to argue that their states should also be more involved in addressing global warming.

                A variety of innovative technologies such as insulation, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and the purchase of energy efficient lighting and vehicles, all make economic sense and can help achieve our goal of reducing greenhouse gases. New Jersey's strategy includes the creation of a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory, creation of a landfill gas reduction program, energy conservation program, development of renewable energy facilities and clean fuel vehicle fleets in the public and private sectors. With all of the initiatives cited above and below mostly in place today, NJDEP anticipates meeting and exceeding its GHG reduction goal. Further, if implementation is successful and momentum maintained, it is estimated the state may be well on its way to even more ambitious GHG reductions by 2010.

Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relation

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