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NJ's Emissions Profile

Statewide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory

The latest GHG Emissions Inventory Report for 2015 covers statewide emissions for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015. Estimated net greenhouse gas emissionsare as follows: 105.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2013; 111.8 MMTCO2e in 2014; 100.9 MMTCO2e in 2015. The sectoral distribution of the GHG emissions for 2015 is shown below:

The three leading sources of GHG emissions in 2015 are transportation, electricity generation, and the residential, commercial and industrial (RCI) sector. Transportation remains the largest source at 45.8 MMTCO2e, which is 42 % of the gross Statewide GHG emissions. Electricity generation follows as the next largest source at 17.7 MMTCO2e, which is 16 % of Statewide GHG emissions. Close at third is the residential sector with 15.5 MMTCO2e, 14 % of Statewide GHG emissions. The combined contribution of the residential, commercial and industrial sectors is 31.4 MMTCO2e, which is 29 % of the gross emissions, of which residential space heating/cooling is a significant portion.  On the other hand, carbon captured by the State’s natural sinks (growth of forests and other vegetation plus soils left undisturbed) amounted to 8.1 MMTCO2e in 2015, “offsetting” 7 % of the gross Statewide GHG emissions.

The full update reports can be found here.

What are the Trends Towards GWRA Goals?

The Global Warming Response Act (N.J.S.A 26:2C-37) calls for a reduction of Statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050, a total of 25.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e).  According to the latest GHG emissions estimate (2015), Statewide releases were a little over 100 MMT CO2e, with close to 90 % coming from the combustion of fossil fuels to satisfy energy demand and transportation.  

Achievement of the 2050 emissions reduction goal will require a degree of emissions reduction that is far more pronounced than will be necessary to achieve the 2020 limit, although New Jersey’s attainment of the 2020 reduction goal years ahead of schedule attests to the success of efforts thus far. The emission trends from 1990 to 2015 show significant progress toward achieving the goals of the Global Warming Response Act, as depicted in the chart below:

New Jersey’s GHG Emission Trends by Major Sources (million metric tons): 1990 - 2015

Source: NJDEP Environmental Trends Report


New Jersey’s Criteria Pollutants Profile: Comparison with Other States

New Jersey has some of the lowest emission rates from power plants in the country.   According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, New Jersey’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate is amongst the five lowest, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission rate among the three lowest, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rate are amongst the nine lowest among States in the nation.  In comparison to the 13-State PJM regional transmission region, New Jersey ranks, by far, the lowest of all. 
Note: the source of data for the following three charts is USDOE/EIA.



For more information, visit…
GHG Emissions Inventory Report for 2015
NJDEP Environmental Trends Report
Office of Air Quality, Energy & Sustainability (AQES)
U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
U.S. DOE/EIA State Profiles and Energy Estimates





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Last Updated: January 25, 2018