What exactly is the Green New Deal, you say?
It is a bold call to action.
In response to the dire report published last fall by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the young people from Sunrise Movement (whose future is directly at stake) popularized a vision for action and held a sit-in at Nancy Pelosi’s office, calling on her to support a Green New Deal.
The title was chosen in reference to FDR’s New Deal that lifted the United States out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Although various versions of the Green New Deal have been around for years, the proposal caught national attention when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined the protestors and launched a congressional resolution aimed at solving the climate crisis. The Green New Deal acknowledges that the climate crisis constitutes a risk to national security and is directly tied to racial, social and income inequality.
“What are its main provisions?
You can read it for yourself here, but here are the essential elements: It says the entire world needs to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 — meaning as much carbon would have to be absorbed as released into the atmosphere — and the United States must take a “leading role” in achieving that.
The Green New Deal calls on the federal government to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create high-paying jobs, ensure that clean air, clean water and healthy food are basic human rights, and end all forms of oppression.
To achieve those goals, the plan calls for the launch of a “10-year mobilization” to reduce carbon emissions in the United States. It envisions sourcing 100 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable and zero-emissions power, digitizing the nation’s power grid, upgrading every building in the country to be more energy-efficient, and overhauling the nation’s transportation system by investing in electric vehicles and high-speed rail.
To address social justice, the resolution says it is the duty of the government to provide job training and new economic development, particularly to communities that currently rely on jobs in fossil fuel industries.“ – Read the full NY Times Article Here
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the GND as House Resolution 109 to the House of Representatives, Senator Ed Markey took it to the Senate. As of today, 92 representatives and 12 senators have signed on, as well as 9 of the over 20 candidates for president. It is the most encompassing, BOLD, yet absolutely doable blueprint for saving this planet for our children and grandchildren. It is not perfect, it will get tweaked and added to, but it is a real plan how to deal with what used to be climate change and evolved into the climate crisis and is turning into an acute emergency right here and now.
The Resolution is 15 pages long, an interesting, quick read. It is a document of realistic optimism that has the potential to break through the long-standing barrier to a better future: political will. You can read the resolution and a lot more info about it at the Sunrise Movement website.
The IPCC report gives us less than 11 years to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avert mass migrations, gigantic economic losses, break-down of eco-systems and ever increasing catastrophic weather events.
How can you get involved?
A GND working group here at 350 Colorado meets every month by phone to discuss how we can promote this plan wherever we are. Let know Liz if you want to join with an email to (firstname.lastname@example.org). Since only Representative Joe Neguse from Boulder has signed on so far, we have work to do here in Colorado!”
Our mother organization, 350.org also hosts a monthly GND call; contact Michelle Fournier (email@example.com) to sign up. The next monthly call on June 12 will be on climate grief and resilience.
We can do this!
Liz Fuhr and Elisabeth Gick