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               The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, in consultation with NJDEP, recently issued an order for a $358 million societal benefits charge program to help fund the capital costs of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. The program, established by the New Jersey Legislature, is expected to avoid neatly two million tons of GHG emissions annually.

                NJDEP also recently signed an agreement with the state's largest energy utility, PSE&G, which establishes a 15 percent reduction goal of the utility's 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by 2005.

                Furthermore, NJDEP established an Open Market Emissions Trading program to provide incentives for voluntary reductions of air emissions. A driving vision behind the program was the idea that trading emissions would benefit New Jersey and other participants economically, as well as environmentally. In 2000, DEP expanded the program to reward facilities which take early, voluntary actions to reduce greenhouse gases and allow greenhouse gas credits to be traded on the open market.

                Building on an pre-existing fruitful relationship involving the exchange of policy ideas, the State of New Jersey took a first-of-its-kind action to sign an agreement with a foreign nation, the Netherlands, to work jointly on global warming issues. By forming a partnership with the Netherlands, which has similar coastal communities and some similar environmental problems, NJDEP developed economic incentives to curb global warming. Clean air is essential to sustainability and our quality of life; initiatives that reduce carbon dioxide nearly always reduce other air pollutants. The landmark agreement, signed in 1998, identifies strategies for developing pilot projects to trade carbon dioxide emission credits internationally.

                Part of the purpose of the agreement was for each party to gain experience in emissions trading for expanded use in the future if and when global trading becomes a more commonplace means of addressing global warming. NJDEP explored potential emission trade projects such as the purchase by a Dutch company of carbon dioxide credits from a United States electric utility's program to capture methane at a landfill in New Jersey. Without the installation of the landfill gas collection system, the methane would have been vented into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to global warming. Instead, the methane is captured and used as a renewable energy resource.

                The establishment of the nation's first state Office of Innovative Technology and Market Development within NJDEP encouraged and facilitated the commercial use of reliable technology among both states and internationally. The office works in cooperation with national organizations such as the Environmental Research Institute of the United States to promote environmental technology through public-private partnerships with other states and countries.

The establishment of the nation's first state Office of Innovative Technology and Market Development within NJDEP encouraged and facilitated the commercial use of reliable technology among states and internationally.

                New Jersey also has formal agreements with Canada, Thailand, Brazil, Germany, Israel and France to promote the exchange of environmental technologies and information. Regulatory flexibility provides economic savings, speeds up the attainment of environmental goals and promotes greater sustainability in our state and in participating counties. The agreements are investments in our future as they allow environmental industries to establish partnerships between government, industry and universities to foster research and development and to target new markets, while helping address environmental problems internationally.

Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relation

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