NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor spoke at the annual Clean Air Council meeting, hosted by the state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday, to discuss COVID-19’s impact on air quality.

Cantor, citing several studies, said there was a 70% decrease in daily CO2 emission in April 2020, compared to a year earlier – mostly due to a precipitous decrease of action in the transportation sector due to shutdowns.

“It’s important to realize that manufacturing was not shut down at that time, because it was an essential business and they were kept open,” Cantor said. “So, I think the reduction we were seeing were primarily from the transportation industry. It’s important to keep that in mind as we make our policies.”

Cantor noted that travel and leisure, customer interaction, computer-based work, and production and warehousing were four sectors that causes changes in New Jersey’s emissions portfolios.

He said a continuation of many employees working from home and a reduction of people on public transportation, as a result, could beg the question of “whether or not we need to have a build out of public transportation – or can we have less?”

Cantor also suggested that federal recovery dollars could be spent to address New Jersey’s clean energy needs, including the upgrade of transmission facilities.

His full testimony can be found here.