Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla today announced his appointment to the ICLEI - USA Board of Directors, further strengthening the City of Hoboken’s dedication to addressing climate change head-on.
ICLEI, the leading global network of local governments dedicated to tackling pressing sustainability challenges, endeavors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance livelihoods, and safeguard natural resources in communities nationwide.
As a board member, Mayor Bhalla will collaborate with fellow local leaders, including mayors and county executives representing diverse regions throughout the country, to steer ICLEI - USA strategically and ensure that the organization continuously surpasses expectations while delivering value to its member municipalities.
“Joining the ICLEI-USA Board of Directors is a privilege that will give the City of Hoboken a seat at the table as we work with partners across the country to take climate action,” said Mayor Bhalla. “Climate change affects not only our city, but also and country and the entire world. I eagerly anticipate working with Executive Director Angie Fyfe, Board Chair Commissioner Brigid Shea, and the entire Board to ensure that local climate initiatives have transformative effects on a national and global scale."
“I have been a fan of Mayor Bhalla and his visionary leadership for several years,” said Commissioner Brigid Shea, Chair of the ICLEI - USA Board of Directors. “He is putting the city of Hoboken on the map for his bold actions to address climate change and protect his residents. And that's the beauty of ICLEI/Local Governments for Sustainability. We learn new ideas and best practices from each other to protect our communities from the impacts of climate change. And we are proving that local governments are essential to fighting climate change.”
“I'm delighted to be working with Mayor Bhalla,” said ICLEI - USA Executive Director Angie Fyfe. “His bold vision for a climate resilient Hoboken is the type of leadership that ICLEI aims to inspire in elected officials across the globe. Moreover, the Mayor's expertise defending civil rights will help us to better prepare ICLEI members to implement equitable climate action plans and makes our Board more representative of the communities we serve.”
During his tenure as Mayor, Mayor Bhalla signed an Executive Order in 2019, officially adopting Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan, which commits the City to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero energy by 2030, exceeding the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan includes methods that both the City and residents can take to mitigate greenhouse gas reductions and establishes goals and targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction for government operations and as a City overall.
Since then, Hoboken has taken significant steps to mitigate its contributions to climate change, which includes phasing in hybrid and electric vehicles into the City’s municipal fleet, reducing the City’s dependency on fossil fuels. So far, the City has replaced 17 vehicles and will also purchase a new electric garbage truck and Hop shuttle bus utilizing $1.2 million in State funding awarded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
In the coming year, Hoboken will significantly expand its electric vehicle charging infrastructure to more than double the number of publicly accessible charging ports. The City has also expanded its residential composting drop-off program and recently launched the Textile Recyling Program to reduce landfill contributions. Hoboken also banned single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers by ordinance in 2020 and the City launched its Zero Waste initiative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve the quality of life for residents as part of the City’s Climate Action Plan as solid waste accounts for approximately 10 percent of the City’s GHG emissions.
Hoboken is actively facilitating renewable energy adoption among residents. The City launched the Hoboken Renewable Energy Program last year, offering homeowners 10 percent more renewable energy than the state-mandated standard. This year, qualifying residents have begun enrolling in the new Community Solar Program, which provides low-to-moderate-income with households with solar energy from an offsite location, resulting in an average electric bill reduction of up to 25 percent.
In 2020, Hoboken became the first municipality in New Jersey to file a lawsuit against multiple fossil fuel-related companies for their role in perpetuating climate change through a decades-long campaign of misinformation.
For more information on the City of Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan, go to https://www.hobokennj.gov/resources/greenhouse-gas-emissions-inventory-and-climate-action-plan.
For more information on ICLEI-USA, go to https://icleiusa.org/.