TRENTON – Recognizing the threat of climate change to our lives and planet, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today passed legislation that will begin to lower carbon dioxide emissions in a practical way, by encouraging consumers to use unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology and offering such products as an option in new construction, though the use of such technology would not be mandatory.
Combined, the manufacturing of cement and concrete is responsible for almost 8 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, and are a significant contributor to climate change. The Paris Climate Accord of 2015 set a goal of achieving a reduction of cement-related emissions by at least 16 percent by 2030.
The bill, S-3091, sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego, would establish various tax incentives, and state and local government purchasing preferences, for unit concrete products that incorporate carbon footprint-reducing technology, including “permeable pavement.”
Such technology, to be certified by the Department of Environmental Protection, would be described as technology “generating at least 50 percent less carbon dioxide emissions in the production and utilization of the unit concrete product than conventional unit concrete products made with ordinary Portland cement.”
“New Jersey is acutely vulnerable to climate change because of its long coastline and population density,” said Senator Addiego (D-Atlantic/Burlington/Camden). “Given that growing threat, we can start to address the problem of carbon emissions, in a pragmatic way, by encouraging consumers to consider more environmentally sensitive technology as an option.”
Carbon footprint-reducing technology includes products that are currently on the market and competitively priced right now, noted Addiego. The purpose of the bill is to incentivize consumers to use these environmentally friendlier products if they so desire.
The bill received public support from Tri-County Sustainability. S-3091 also received support from the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey and the Southern New Jersey Development Council.
The bill was passed out of committee by a vote of 12-0.