The Green New Deal, introduced as House Resolution 109 on February 7th, has received much media ballyhoo, but what does the actual resolution say? You can read it for yourself in full text here, or enjoy the summary below.
It starts by citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s special report on global warming of 1.5ºC. This report indicates that global warming of 2ºC will cause mass migration, $500 billion lost economic output and damage to $1 trillion of infrastructure, loss of practically all coral reefs, more wildfires, and more. As climate changed is human caused, we must keep warming under 1.5ºC by reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
They argue that since the US is responsible for 20 percent of annual emissions, we should lead on their reductions. At the same time we can address our declining life expectancy, food quality, health care, education, and transportation networks exacerbated by declining hourly wages, poor social mobility, bargaining power, and ability to combat climate change as we suffer from the greatest wealth inequality since before the Great Depression, not to mention race and gender disparities.
The federal government can lead a mobilization similar to the scale of the New Deal and World War II to combat climate change and address the systemic social problems: create millions of jobs, boosting the economy, and counteracting injustices.
Therefore, this resolution calls on the government to create a Green New Deal with the goals of net-zero greenhouse emissions, millions of jobs, infrastructure investment, and a focus on clean air and water, resilience, healthful food, wild spaces, and environmental protection. This should be done through a 10-year mobilization to build resiliency in infrastructure, eliminate pollution and emissions, create access to clean water, reduce climate risks, and meet 100 percent of the power demand through clean, renewable energy (through upgrading and new installations). This includes work on the grid, existing buildings, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation network, health care, ecosystem restoration and protection, and cleaning hazards.
They argue that this should be done with public input and working with stakeholders and members of all communities, especially those who will be impacted by these projects. Investments should go towards retraining, research and development, fair-waged work, strengthening workers’ rights, enforcing existing and new regulations, protecting public lands, guarding against monopolies, and providing all people with health care, housing, economic security, and healthful and clean water, air, and food.
In the next few days, we’ll be picking apart the Green New Deal and assessing its feasibility and scope.
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