Climate Action

All About the Green New Deal

Wondering about the Green New Deal? Here are some facts and perspectives on the bold proposal to face the climate crisis by moving to a clean energy future. We will update this with new developments as we hear about them. “The Green New Deal aspires to cut U.S. carbon emissions fast enough to reach the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious climate goal: preventing the world from warming no more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100….” (From “The Democratic Party Wants to Make Climate Policy Exciting” by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic) “Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal mandates a rapid decarbonization of the entire U.S. economy, including 100 percent renewable energy for the electricity sector, in just a decade — a very tall order. Additionally, it calls for “a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one” and “additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs….” (From “Ocasio-Cortez inspires Democratic presidential hopefuls to come out swinging on climate change” by Kiley Kroh, ThinkProgress) “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets much of the credit for bringing the Green New Deal into the mainstream….her staff collaborated with Justice Democrats, the progressive electoral outfit started by veterans of the Bernie Sanders campaign, to draft a policy proposal for a GND. But the plan truly owes its swift rise to a grassroots climate organization called Sunrise Movement, launched a year and a half ago by twelve young organizers—refugees from more mainstream climate organizations like Sierra Club and, and veterans of fossil fuel divestment and anti-pipeline campaigns….” From “The Story Behind The Green New Deal’s Meteoric Rise” by Sam Adler-Bell, The New Republic) “Plenty of Democratic politicians support policies that would reduce climate pollution — renewable energy tax credits, fuel economy standards, and the like — but those policies do not add up to a comprehensive solution, certainly nothing like what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests is necessary…” (From “The New Green Deal, Explained” by David Roberts, Vox) “Clean energy is a problem of scale. If you don’t have scale, you have a hobby. I like hobbies. I used to build model airplanes. But you can’t mitigate climate change as a hobby. The reason I called for a Green New Deal was first and foremost to convey that this undertaking required a massive, urgent response commensurate with the scale and time frame posed by accelerating disruptive climate…. (From “The New Green Deal Rises Again” by Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times) “Just three months after calls for a Green New Deal electrified a long-stagnant debate on climate policy, the Democratic lawmakers released the six-page document outlining plans to cut global emissions 40 to 60 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and neutralize human-caused greenhouse gases entirely by 2050….” (From “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Unveils Landmark Green New Deal Resolution” by Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post) “To understand the debate surrounding the Green New Deal, you need to look beyond its recent prominence in Beltway political circles to the on-the-ground organizations that make up the environmental justice movement. Newcomers like Ocasio-Cortez may be leading the charge, but grassroots leaders who have spent years advocating for low-income families and neighborhoods of color most impacted by fossil fuels say their communities weren’t consulted when the idea first took shape…. (From “Something Old, Something New: The Green New Deal is touching up its (grass)roots” by Justine Calma, Grist) Earth Day Network is among hundreds of organizations urging Congress to consider legislation to address the urgent threat of climate change.