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New Jersey has joined a handful of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states committed to lowering carbon emissions from cars, trucks and other transportation sources.

So far, large-scale initiatives to combat global warming have focused on electricity generation. The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) that New Jersey just joined would put the focus on motor vehicles, which generate much more of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

So far, the initiative’s goals involve developing policies at reducing traffic congestion and establishing state and local land-use strategies that encourage transit-friendly designs. It has steered away from imposing costs, such as the regional cap-and-trade-program many of the same states have joined to rein in greenhouse gases related to energy.

 “This effort fits in perfectly with Governor Murphy’s goals of fighting climate change by rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, working toward a 100-percent clean-energy portfolio by 2050, making our state more resilient, and ensuring that we address the needs of communities that have been burdened for too long with the impacts of air pollution and climate change,” said NJ Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe.

New Jersey has signed on to the Transportation and Climate Initiative with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

According to the DEP’s news release:

“The policy outlines the goals of such a program, including reducing climate-changing emissions, creating economic opportunity, and improving transportation equity for underserved and overburdened populations. It also sets a goal of completing the policy design process within one year, after which each member will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy.

“Facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center, the Transportation and Climate Initiative, also known as TCI, is made up of the top environmental, energy and transportation officials from participating Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.”

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