By: Akshaye Mavinkurve
What is the Green New Deal?
The Green New Deal is an ambitious climate legislation whose name is inspired by the “New Deal”. The New Deal was a series of legislation passed and implemented by the US house with the help of the US president Franklin D Roosevelt. Key policies that were part of the new deal included popular programmes such as social security, housing, expanding welfare and bringing in regulations on industry. The Green New Deal is a play on those policies and has been popularised by the progressive members of the US house of commons and Senate. The aim of the green new deal is to invest heavily in green technology, helping communities reliant on mining coal and extracting natural gases transition to working in extract renewable and clean sources of energy and expanding and creating welfare programs.
The Green New Deal Resolution
The Green New Deal was introduced as a resolution in the US House of Commons and special legislative committees with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez as the main sponsor of the resolution. As the current iteration of the green new deal is just a resolution, it is a document that provides an indistinct road map and ambitions with no specific legislation. The aim of a resolution is not to serve as a piece of legislation but to rather guide the legislative process meaning when the green new deal resolution is passed by the house, all legislation is to follow the tenets of the resolution. The resolution put forward by the sponsors and signatories cover the bases of environmental, economic, social, and cultural justice. Some of the key points laid out by the resolution include:
- Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
- Invest in Green technology and sustainable infrastructure while Creating good high paying jobs.
- Stopping and Preventing oppression of oppressed communities like the ingenious population, communities that face systemic racial abuse, low income communities and people with disabilities among many others.
- Meeting power demands using green and renewable sources of energy.
- Access to clean drinking water, access to food with high nutrition value.
- Investing and working with farming communities to build sustainable agricultural practices.
- Investing in accessible and affordable public transport and to build sustainable transport infrastructure such as high speed rail and environment friendly public transport infrastructure.
These are just a few of the goals propagated by the green new deal resolution. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has a huge obstacle with the majority of US legislators and the President not ready to accept the ambitions of the green new deal and at the same time there is a huge misinformation propagation by her political opponents, and the various industry giants who stand to loose from the green new deal. The resolution is a good start in acknowledging the problems and the solutions on a broader level but there needs to be more concrete and specific policies mapped out to people to bring them on board.
Pete Marovich for The New York Times
The Bernie Sanders Green New Deal
During a debate in his 2016 bid for the Democrats nominee, Bernie Sanders was asked about what he felt was the biggest national security emergency for the USA and what is now considered as an iconic moment, he responded by saying climate change. In 2019, Sen. Bernie Sanders decided to run as the democrat nominee for the president of the United States again and has brought back his climate agenda to the forefront of his campaign. His campaign has laid out a green new deal plan which aligns with the goals of the green new deal resolution.
Some of the points laid out by Bernie Sanders include, achieving complete use of renewable energy for electricity and transport purposes by 2030; a jobs guarantee programme to provide opportunity for unemployed and underemployed. The aim of the programme is to provide good paying jobs with good benefits for workers. These are just a few of the points laid out and they are mapped out in a similar fashion to the green new deal resolution. The difference between the two is that Bernie Sanders has mapped out plans and policies to achieve these goals as the plan he is presenting is one for advocacy rather than legislative formalities.
The Green New Deal is definitely ambitious and one that maps out a plan to tackle the issue of climate change. The issues regarding the plan is not really in the ambitions and policies but rather how this has been communicated. Proponents of the plan need to communicate the ideas clearly and work to constantly track all the misinformation campaigns and fight back and communicate how the plan is a huge progress in providing economic and social justice.
Photo sourced from Pexels.