Executive Order No. 221 (2021) -

Executive Order No. 221 (2021)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 221 (2021)

An Order Establishing the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy

Issued: February 16, 2021.

Effective: February 16, 2021.

WHEREAS, climate change, driven largely by human activities that emit greenhouse gases and other climate pollutants causing global atmospheric warming, presents an existential threat to the residents of New Jersey, their health, communities, businesses, environment, economy, and way of life; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey, while uniquely vulnerable to climate risks, is uniquely positioned to develop and deploy innovative solutions that transform the climate crisis into a tremendous opportunity for our residents, communities, businesses, and economy; and

WHEREAS, through Executive Order Nos. 7, 8, 23, and 28 (2018), Nos. 89 and 92 (2019), and No. 100 (2020), the facts and circumstances of which are adopted by reference herein, I established that it is the policy of this State to take aggressive climate action by reducing the emissions of climate pollutants on an economy-wide basis, charting a just and equitable transition away from our reliance on fossil fuels while building a stronger and fairer economy fueled by clean and renewable energy, protecting and promoting the resilience of New Jersey's communities from the current and anticipated impacts of climate change through planning and regulation, investing in climate solutions that create new economic opportunity and broadly shared prosperity, and furthering the promise of environmental justice and ensuring equity in the course of fulfilling each of these objectives; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey's commitment to climate action has also positioned the State as a national leader in green job growth by expanding solar energy installations, facilitating the development of offshore wind farms, expanding and developing new port capacity and clean energy infrastructure, and hastening modern green manufacturing while bolstering apprenticeship programs; and

WHEREAS, green jobs, which include jobs focused on the production of goods or provision of services that directly benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, as well as those focused on facilitating environmentally-friendly production processes, such as process improvements that reduce consumption of energy and natural resources, are critical to further expanding the reach of New Jersey's innovation economy; and

WHEREAS, the number of people employed in New Jersey's green economy has been rapidly growing in recent years, with over 52,000 workers in 2019 employed in a variety of roles including construction, manufacturing, trade, and professional services; and

WHEREAS, notwithstanding overall green job growth, an October 2020 study by the BW Research Partnership found that the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic has caused a recent decline in green job growth nationwide, and specifically in New Jersey, necessitating the need for greater economic support for green jobs as part of the State's economic recovery; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey expects an increased demand for a well-trained green workforce as the State continues its just and equitable transition to a green economy, as well as an increased demand for services to assist workers potentially displaced as the green economy transition evolves; and

WHEREAS, the green workforce has historically lacked diversity, with disproportionate race and gender gaps across sectors of the green economy, including gaps in, but not limited to, clean energy production, energy efficiency, and water infrastructure and system operations; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of diversity and inclusion policies and programs can increase representation of historically underrepresented groups, helping to overcome racial and gender gaps and ensuring that the rich diversity of New Jersey is represented in the green economy as it continues to grow; and

WHEREAS, the transition to a green economy provides New Jersey with a unique opportunity to establish a holistic and coordinated job creation strategy that drives sustainable economic growth and development, avoids and adjusts for potential worker displacement while providing for appropriate workforce support and resources should it occur, and prioritizes equity, diversity, inclusion, and environmental and economic justice; and

WHEREAS, the development and implementation of a long-term green economy strategy that accelerates the growth of green jobs, facilitates green workforce development, and equitably expands economic opportunity demands a concerted approach across government, industry, and labor that is coordinated with and complimentary to the State's climate action policies as established by Executive Order Nos. 7, 8, 23, and 28 (2018), Nos. 89 and 92 (2019), and No. 100 (2020), and the products thereof;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. There is hereby established the Governor's Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy ("Climate Office"), which shall coordinate the policymaking processes of Executive Branch departments and agencies with respect to all climate change and green economy issues, coordinate climate policy and green economy advice to the Governor, ensure that climate and green economy policy decisions and programs are consistent with the Governor's stated goals and that those goals are being effectively pursued, and monitor implementation of the Governor's climate policy and green economic agenda.

2. The Climate Office shall be headed by an Executive Director appointed by the Governor. The Executive Director shall be an employee of the State, and shall have a staff and other assistance as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Order, subject to the availability of appropriations, and may conduct the work of the Climate Office via established interagency councils or groups or such other ad hoc committees as the Executive Director may establish.

3. The Executive Director is hereby authorized to call upon any Executive Branch department or agency to supply the Climate Office with information or other assistance as the Executive Director determines necessary to discharge the Director's duties under this Order. Each Executive Branch department and agency is hereby required, to the extent [page=397] not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Executive Director within the limits of each department's or agency's statutory authority, and to furnish such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Order.

4. The Executive Director shall, among other responsibilities, ensure the coordination and execution of climate action policies as established by Executive Order Nos. 7, 8, 23, and 28 (2018), Nos. 89 and 92 (2019), and No. 100 (2020), and the products thereof, including, but not limited to, the implementation of recommendations contained in reports issued pursuant to the Global Warming Response Act, N.J.S.A. 26:2C-41, and the State's most current Energy Master Plan and Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy.

5. There is hereby established within the Climate Office, and under the auspices of the Governor's Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council established pursuant to Executive Order No. 12 (2018), the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy ("Council").

6. The Council shall consist of the Executive Director of the Climate Office, the Chief Policy Advisor and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth to the Governor, the Commissioners of the Departments of Education, Environmental Protection, Labor, and Treasury, the President of the Board of Public Utilities, the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Authority, the Secretary of Higher Education, the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, and the Director of the Division of Rate Counsel, or their respective designees.

7. The Governor shall also appoint to serve on the Council two members from organized labor, one representative from the manufacturing industry, one environmental justice advocate, one environmental advocate, one green economy business representative, one representative from a Chamber of Commerce of a historically underrepresented group, one member from academia, two representatives from the utilities, and one small business and workforce training representative.

8. The Governor may, as determined to be appropriate, appoint additional members to the Council, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

9. The Executive Director of the Climate Office shall serve as the Executive Director of the Council and shall establish such rules of operation as the Council may require. The Executive Director of the Council shall also serve as a member of the Governor's Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council.

10. The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the President of the Board of Public Utilities shall jointly serve as Chairpersons of the Council. The Governor will also appoint an Honorary Chairperson, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

11. No member of the Council, including the Executive Director and the Chairpersons, shall be compensated in addition to the compensation received, if any, as an employee or officer of the State.

12. The Council shall meet as often as practicable and as requested by the Governor or Executive Director.

13. The objectives of the Council shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

a. Develop a more expansive and inclusive definition of a "green job" that includes the full variety of green infrastructure jobs, including, but not limited to, those related to development of renewable energy generation, production, manufacturing, infrastructure, storage, and access for technologies such as wind and solar; transportation electrification infrastructure, services, and sales; research and development of green technologies, grid modernization and grid-edge technologies, and geothermal generation technologies; water infrastructure and systems operations; lead remediation and abatement; climate change resilience and adaptation; contaminated site remediation; food waste reduction and recycling; environmental education; and building electrification and energy efficiency related jobs, including but not limited to, weatherization, building energy management systems, mold removal and abatement, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

b. Conduct an analysis of existing green job opportunities, as well as how green job opportunities and needs will adjust as various sectors of the green economy evolve over time, that:

i. Specifies the skills, industry-recognized credential, and training requirements needed for each job;

ii. Lists available current training programs, including work-based learning opportunities, as well as new programs needed, across providers, labor, and academia;

iii. Identifies funding needs and existing public and private funding sources for training and certification programs;

iv. Provides public and private sector salary and benefit data by geographic areas within New Jersey and the surrounding region;

v. Explores reskilling and training opportunities available to displaced workers, the incarcerated or formerly incarcerated, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system;

vi. Identifies gaps in the needs and resources of New Jersey's secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs to develop the State's future green workforce, and measures needed to address those gaps; and

vii. Considers how to expand educational and workforce opportunities to underrepresented groups.

c. Evaluate economic and workforce impacts of a just transition to a green economy, including any increased demand for resources to address the needs of workers potentially displaced from historic lines of work as the green economy evolves, and identify which at risk jobs and sectors lend themselves to a transition to sectors with similar skill sets in the green economy.

d. Assess how to balance providing opportunities to the existing workforce with the need to diversify the workforce and increase access and participation by historically underrepresented groups.

e. Consult with any department, office, division, agency or other instrumentality of this State to ensure they consider green options where appropriate and necessary as they develop regulatory programs and initiatives.

f. Through a coordinated effort across relevant governmental programs and private industry, consider various green job initiatives that include but are not limited to:

i. Incorporation of equitable workforce development strategies into all environmental, infrastructure, and clean energy initiatives, including a framework to support high quality employment and collective bargaining;

ii. Strategic investments in workforce development, education, apprenticeship/internship, training and certification, and retraining programs;

iii. Formation of career services, green job pathways, experiential learning opportunities, and outreach to underrepresented and underserved groups, including women, the incarcerated or formerly incarcerated, and workers displaced by emerging clean energy technology;

iv. Dedicated supports for displaced workers including employment counseling, reskilling, transitional income, and relocation support; and

v. Public information campaigns to inform and educate the public on the importance of green jobs and the opportunities available in a green economy.

g. Examine measures implemented by other jurisdictions to transition to a clean energy economy and develop robust green jobs initiatives within the United States and Europe.

14. The Council shall engage and seek input from stakeholders, by (a) seeking information to advise the Council on a variety of relevant issues; (b) holding open-ended listening sessions that identify labor, industry, and community needs; and (c) participating in roundtables with experts in various fields to solicit information, engage in robust discussion, and ask necessary questions on specific topics and initiatives identified by the Council.

15. The Council, which shall be purely advisory in nature, shall issue a final report to the Governor with its recommendations no later than one year after the effective date of this Order. The Council shall also present the final report to the Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council.

16. The Council shall be authorized to call upon any department, office, division, agency or other instrumentality of this State to supply it with information or other assistance as the Council determines to be necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each Executive Branch [page=398] department, office, division, agency or other instrumentality of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Council within the limits of its statutory authority and to furnish it with such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Order.

17. For purposes of this Order, "Executive Branch departments and agencies" shall mean any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State government and any agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, division, institution, office, or other instrumentality within or created by any such department, and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality, or agency over which the Governor exercises executive authority, as determined by the Attorney General.

18. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to confer any legal rights upon entities whose activities are regulated by State entities, nothing shall be construed to create a private right of action on behalf of any such regulated entities, and nothing shall be used as a basis for legal challenges to rules, approvals, permits, licenses, or other actions or inaction by a State entity. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to supersede any federal, state, or local law.

19. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published March 13, 2017 in the New Jersey Register at 49 N.J.R. 585(b). Published February 16, 2021 in the New Jersey Register at 53 N.J.R. 396(a).)

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