NJ seeks public input on climate resilience action plans

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey’s Interagency Council on Climate Resilience is seeking public input on how the state should address extreme heat priorities and concerns as part of the council’s development of a series of plans outlining how state agencies will incorporate climate resilience into their policies, programs and regulations.

The series of documents, known as resilience action plans, will build on the statewide climate change resilience strategy released in 2021 and provide more detail on how the strategy’s recommendations are being implemented. The first resilience action plan, to be released later this year, will focus on state agency efforts to address increasing extreme heat events resulting from climate change, such as those experienced during the summer of 2022.

“Extreme heat puts New Jersey’s environment, economy, infrastructure and communities at risk,” said council Chairperson Jane Cohen, who is also the executive director of the state’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. “Through the development of the extreme heat resilience action plan, the state will build resilience to extreme heat, helping to maintain the quality of life for generations to come.”

Public involvement will be an important next step in the process. The council is seeking public feedback through Friday, March 17, on extreme heat priorities and concerns, as well as a scoping document that addresses the resilience action plan’s purpose, development process and content. The resilience action plan initiative and the scoping document will be presented at a webinar on Thursday, Feb. 9, with a second webinar on Thursday, March 2, seeking public input on potential extreme heat issues. Details on the webinars, including links to join and applicable documents, are available at nj.gov/dep/climatechange/resilience-action-plans.html.

“The development of resilience action plans with public input will be very important tools for guiding us as we address how New Jersey can face the worsening impacts of climate change,” New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette said. “Every person’s feedback is valuable in this process, and I encourage as many people as possible to participate in the upcoming webinars to share their thoughts for making our state more climate resilient.”