Climate Change Planning at the NJTPA
The NJTPA is currently engaged in a multi-year climate change initiatives program, including:
- Support for subregional climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, including greenhouse gas emissions inventories and forecasts.
- A region-wide inventory and analysis of vulnerable infrastructure to future climate change impacts.
- Evaluation of greenhouse gas reduction options and development of a regional GHG reduction action plan.
- Coordination of NJTPA climate change efforts with local, regional, and state agencies.
A growing body of scientific evidence shows the earth’s climate is changing due in large part to the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The global concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activity, mainly due to fossil fuel use and land use changes.
Scientists are concerned that rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are contributing to a warming of the planet, as evidenced by increases in global air and ocean temperatures, melting of polar snow and ice, and rising global sea levels. Scientists believe elevated GHG concentrations, if not curtailed, will lead to altered weather patterns, including heavier precipitation events, hotter summertime temperatures, elevated summertime ozone levels, and increased drought. These weather-related impacts, as well as rising sea levels, may severely impact the region’s transportation infrastructure during storm events and inundate low-lying populations within the region.
The world's heavy reliance on fossil-based fuels, especially for transportation-related activities, is the largest contributor to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. In recent years, transportation has been the fastest growing source of GHG emissions in New Jersey. Moreover, this over-reliance on fossil-based fuels in the transportation system has raised concern among scientists, policymakers, and citizens that this energy supply is unsustainable. There is a need to start planning now to address these issues so that the region is best prepared for potential and likely consequences.
In November 2008, the NJTPA held a Climate Change Roundtable that featured discussions on two key aspects of dealing with climate change: adapting infrastructure to deal with its effects, particularly rising sea levels and new weather patterns; and developing transportation policies that will reduce or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The roundtable led to the formation of the Climate Change Working Group, which consists of a wide cross-section of stakeholders who explore research and actions that will help reduce global warming emissions and address energy availability.
For More Information
Resources and documents relating to climate change are at right. For more information, contact Jeffrey Perlman at 973-639-8445 or email@example.com.