Climate change is increasing temperatures, causing heavier rainfall events, and rising sea levels affecting the health, welfare, and economy of New Jersey. The New Jersey Climate Change Alliance is a network of diverse organizations that share the goal of advancing through outreach and education science-informed and evidence- based climate change strategies and tactics at the state and local levels in New Jersey, with regard to 1) adapting to changing climate conditions, 2) eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through source reduction, and 3) mitigating any remaining GHG emissions through nature-based sequestration and other emerging technologies.
Alliance participants include representatives of public, private, and non-governmental organizations from sectors including transportation, emergency management, business, energy, engineering, farming, insurance, environment, health, community planning, environmental justice, natural resource management, and others working on advancing climate change solutions in New Jersey The Alliance does not work to influence political outcomes or specific pieces of legislation; rather, the work of the Alliance serves to integrate research and science with evidence and diverse points of view through the voices of Alliance participants for the purpose of informing short and long-term climate change strategies and outlining policy options for New Jersey.
All organizations participating in the Alliance commit to the following six principles and goals:
- Support science-informed and evidence-based strategies to advance net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, nature-based systems sequestration, and long-term adaptation to changing climate conditions;
- Promote equitable climate change solutions that focus on ensuring delivery of benefits to populations and communities disproportionately affected by climate change impacts and the emissions that contribute to climate change;
- Promote climate change solutions that are not biased toward any particular political group;
- Further climate change strategies that promote economic growth, improved health outcomes, natural solutions, and sustainable communities;
- Share and promote Alliance analyses, reports, tools, educational materials, and other outputs within their networks; and
- Maintain thoughtful, respectful and meaningful dialogue among participants in accordance with the following practices:
- Participants are free to use information received via Alliance discussions but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any participant, may be revealed;
- Participants will not distribute or publish any materials disclosed by other participants without prior approval of the participant providing the information;
- Participants will treat each other with respect, assume good intentions on the part of other participants, and allow fellow participants flexibility to explore and consider potential positions without prejudice or recrimination;
- Participants will participate personally rather than send a representative to the maximum extent possible;
- Participants value the diversity of Alliance participants, their perspectives, and the organizations they represent;
- Participants will manage efficient meetings, stick to the agenda, honor time limits, and focus use of email for administrative and informational purposes rather than iterative dialogues; and
- Participants generally agree that Alliance outputs will use the following language in public products: This product has been reviewed by the Steering Committee of the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance. While individual participants of the Alliance do not necessarily agree with each and every insight outlined in this product, the Steering Committee concurs that the content of this product presents critically important issues facing New Jersey. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the official positions of participants of the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance or funders who supported this work. Rutgers University serves as the facilitator of the Alliance and recommendations in the report do not represent the position of the University.
Since its inception in 2011, the Alliance’s work has involved:
- Leading demonstration projects that can be replicated throughout New Jersey;
- Identifying evidence-based state and local policy options relevant for New Jersey;
- Conducting outreach and education to state and local officials, communities, leaders, and the general public;
- Linking natural and social scientists, engineers, and other experts to decision-makers, communities, and leaders to inform policy and practice;
- Developing tools, guidance and analyses to inform planning and decision-making in the public, private, and nongovernmental sectors;
- Creating a forum that engages a diverse set of perspectives to advance evidence-based climate strategies and policy in New Jersey;
- Identifying gaps and areas for further applied scientific and policy research, planning, and policy analysis.
Equity is a critically important principle of the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance as is a dedicated focus on ensuring that climate change strategies are designed to benefit those communities and populations that are disproportionately affected by climate change emissions and impacts. The Steering Committee ensures that all work of the Alliance considers the implications of its efforts on communities and populations that are most affected by changing climate conditions both regarding sources of climate emissions and impacts of a changing climate.
Originally formed as the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance, the Alliance changed its name in 2018 to better reflect the breadth of its work. The Alliance is facilitated by Rutgers University through the Rutgers Climate Institute and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.