In a 2006 Statement of Conscience the Unitarian Universalist Association stated:
“Earth is our home. We are part of this world and its destiny is our own…. As Unitarian Universalists, how can our faith inform our actions to remedy and mitigate global warming/climate change? We declare by this Statement of Conscience that we will not acquiesce to the ongoing degradation and destruction of life that human actions are leaving to our children and grandchildren. We as Unitarian Universalists are called to join with others to halt practices that fuel global warming/climate change, to instigate sustainable alternatives, and to mitigate the impending effects of global warming/climate change with just and ethical responses. As a people of faith, we commit to a renewed reverence for life and respect for the interdependent web of all existence.”
Along with other members of the coalition NJ FREE, the UULMNJ Environmental Task Force has helped to write the Renewable Energy Tranisition Act, or RETA. The bill would require 80% renewable electricity by 2050, with an intermediate requirement of 30% renewable electricity by 2025. It also seeks a requirement that the total electric usage in New Jersey be reduced by 20% by 2025 relative to 2012 usage, and be reduced by 30% by 2050 relative to 2012 usage. The bill passed the senate on March 14 by a vote of 23-15.
Is 80% Renewable Electricity by 2050 feasible? This question is already being answered in the real world. Many European countries have already adopted requirements that are as ambitious or even more so. Denmark’s goal is 80% of overall energy by 2050. Germany, on the other hand, has a much lower solar resource than New Jersey, and has adopted a requirement of 80% renewable electricity by 2050 and 30% by 2025. Furthermore, it is well ahead of schedule, achieving 26% renewable electricity in the first half of 2012. Germany’s rapid transition toward renewables and equally rapid phase‐out of nuclear power has not hurt its economy. According to the country’s top economic research institutions, Germany’s “Renewable Energy Transformation” has been a net benefit to the economy, and has created 370,000 new jobs.
RETA (A1759) was referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on January 27, 2016. We are calling for the Chairman, Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo, to move the bill to a vote in honor of Earth Day, which will be celebrated around the globe on Friday, April 22. Please write Chairman DeAngelo and ask him to move this landmark legislation through to a vote in the Assembly.
Watch the Senate bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Smith, discuss the legislation with NJTV news.