Resilience. Preparing New Jersey for Climate Change: Policy Considerations from the NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance

This report from the New Jersey Climate Adaption Alliance recommends a series of wide-ranging strategies to integrate the response to possible climate impacts into state regulations, local land-use decisions, and allocation of government funding in New Jersey. The Alliance focused on key sectors of agriculture; built infrastructure (transportation, energy, and telecommunications); coastal communities; emergency management; environmental justice; natural resources; public health; social services; and water resources. The approach followed to develop these recommendations was guided by the Alliance Advisory Committee and involved research on climate change impacts in New Jersey, analysis of leading policy practices and extensive stakeholder engagement.

 

A companion document released with this report summarizes a workshop held in 2013 focusing on environmental justice (EJ) issues related to climate preparedness.

The workshop was organized primarily by the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and their constituent organizations. During the workshop, participants discussed how EJ communities fared after Sandy; what climate change impacts were likely to affect EJ communities; and what could be done to make these communities more resilient to impacts. Participants commented that directly following Sandy there was inadequate information available in Spanish, or about toxic contamination. Also, documentation requirements were viewed as excessive and inflexible. More long-term, Sandy decreased overall housing availability and led to higher rents. Participants called for neighborhood-level planning to prepare for emergencies and climate change. They stressed that the planning process must meaningfully involve residents and local community groups.


In December 2013 the Alliance issued the preceding report ‘Resilience: Preparing New Jersey for Climate Change: A Gap Analysis from the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance' which identified six general areas of policy gaps:

• Research, needs assessment and data development;
• Enhanced implementation of existing data, tools, and methods;
• Regulation, policy and governance support;
• Coordination of adaptation planning and preparedness actions;
• Ensure suitable funding;
• Education and outreach efforts

This report builds upon the first analysis by identifying recommendations that correspond to the six major categories of policy gaps. The recommendations section organized by the six categories goes into extensive detail to further articulate sub-recommendations that are intended to better integrate climate change into existing planning and other strategies.

Throughout the climate preparedness policy development process, the Alliance also received a lot of feedback regarding emergency response activities, which is outlined in Appendix A.  Appendix B addresses climate mitigation strategies. Although mitigation is not the focus of the Alliance’s mission, the Alliance is committed to document what was heard through the stakeholder process. In particular, several of these recommendations focus on those areas where climate preparedness and mitigation overlap and can achieve complementary goals.

 

Publication Date: June 2014

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  • Adaptation plan

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