This page provides an overview of the steps New Jersey is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

In 2009, during the administration of Governor Jon Corzine, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recommended that the state develop a statewide adaptation plan in a report titled, Meeting New Jersey's 2020 Greenhouse Gas Limit: New Jersey's Global Warming Response Act Recommendations Report. However, no formal plan was developed at that time and the Office of Climate Change and Energy within NJDEP was closed during the administration of Governor Chris Christie.

On October 29, 2019, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed Executive Order No. 89, establishing new requirements aimed at building statewide and community resilience. These include: developing a Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy, which will include recommendations on actions and identification of financing mechanisms for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts across communities, different sectors, and within executive departments and other governmental agencies; establishing a new Interagency Council on Climate Resilience, made of commissioners and agency heads (or their designees) from 16 state departments, responsible for coordinating efforts across departments; establishing a new Climate and Flood Resilience Program within the Department of Environmental Protection; developing a report every two years on the best available science regarding the anticipated effects of climate change in New Jersey; and, finally, directing the State Planning Commission to amend its regulations to incorporate climate change considerations into the requirements for the state to approve local development and redevelopment plans. The forthcoming Strategy must also include a Coastal Resilience Plan to focus specifically on long-term strategies for reducing physical, economic, and social vulnerabilities in coastal areas and building resilience of coastal communities.

On January 27, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 100Among other mitigation requirements, Executive Order No. 100 directs NJDEP to make regulatory reforms for permitting development or construction at risk of climate change impacts. Specifically, the state must work to integrate climate change considerations, such as sea-level rise, into its regulatory and permitting programs, including but not limited to, land use permitting, water supply, stormwater and wastewater permitting and planning, air quality, and solid waste and site remediation permitting.

On February 4, 2021, New Jersey enacted Senate Bill (SB) 2607 amending the required components for municipal master plans in New Jersey to incorporate climate change risks and adaptation strategies. Specifically, the land use element of any master plan adopted after the bill’s passage must include a climate change and extreme weather vulnerability assessment as well as natural hazard mitigation strategies.

In October 2021, New Jersey released its statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy ("Strategy"), which also includes a Coastal Resilience Strategy. It is the state’s first example of both a statewide climate adaptation plan and a comprehensive coastal resilience plan. Both implemented some of the requirements in Executive Order No. 89.

New Jersey has been affected by climate change-driven impacts, such as flooding events, storms, rising sea levels, and increasing temperatures. The state developed the Strategy to address these impacts. The Strategy also addresses building resilient and healthy communities, strengthening the resilience of ecosystems, promoting coordinated governance, investing in information and increasing public understanding, and promoting climate-informed investments and innovative financing.

 

Since New Jersey just released its Strategy in October 2021, these pages will be updated in the future with the progress the state is making in implementing the adaptation actions and goals set forth in the Strategy. 

Other resources from the Adaptation Clearinghouse, which have been developed to help New Jersey prepare for climate change, are featured in the chart below.

The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress states are making in preparing for the impacts of climate change, was supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

 

(Research last updated: November 23, 2021).

 
State Agency Action Overview
Local Support Overview
 
 

State Law and Policy

Resource Name Resource Type Date
New Jersey Senate Bill (SB) 2607: Requiring land use plan element of municipal master plan to include climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment Law and Governance February 4, 2021
New Jersey EO 100: Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT); land use regulations and permitting Law and Governance January 27, 2020
New Jersey Executive Order 89 Establishing Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy Law and Governance October 29, 2019
New Jersey S2815: Drinking water, wastewater infrastructure resiliency program; NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) Law and Governance August 8, 2013

State Agency Plans

Resource Name Sector(s) Covered Date
New Jersey Climate Change Resilience Strategy and Coastal Resilience Strategy Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Land use and built environment, Urban, Frontline Communities, Water infrastructure October 12, 2021
Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards – A Guide for New Jersey Coastal Communities Coastal, Land management and conservation, Land use and built environment December 13, 2017
New Jersey Energy Master Plan - Update Energy December 2015
The Garden State in the Greenhouse - Climate Change Mitigation and Coastal Adaptation Strategies for New Jersey Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Energy, Land use and built environment, Tourism and recreation, Transportation January 2007

Local and Regional Plans

Resource Name Date
South Ironbound Resiliency Action Plan - Newark, New Jersey August 26, 2015
Hoboken, New Jersey Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan October 2013

More Featured Resources

Resource Name Resource Category Date
New Jersey Fostering Regional Adaptation through Municipal Economic Scenarios (NJ FRAMES) Planning 2016
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Engineering Department Manual - Climate Resilience Design Guidelines Law and Governance January 22, 2015
Resilience. Preparing New Jersey for Climate Change: Policy Considerations from the NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance Planning June 2014
New Jersey Resiliency Network Solutions February 2014
Resilience of New Jersey Transit (NJ TRANSIT) Assets to Climate Impacts Assessments June 2012
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines, Appendix 2: Climate Change Projections Law and Governance March 23, 2011
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines Law and Governance March 23, 2011
 

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