A new resolution from Congressional Democrats calls for the US economy to go carbon-neutral within just ten years, alongside proposals for universal healthcare, free higher education, and a jobs guarantee, according to The Guardian.
Dubbed the Green New Deal, based on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s economic reforms to address the Great Depression in the 1930s, the resolution was co-introduced by House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ed Markey (D-MA).
“Climate change and our environmental challenges are one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life, not just as a nation, but as a world,” according to Ocasio-Cortez. “In order for us to combat that threat, we must be as ambitious and innovative as possible.”
While it’s been co-sponsored by 60 House Democrats and nine Senators, the plan is highly unlikely to pass with Republicans controlling both the White House and the Senate.
However, the idea of a Green New Deal has already been building momentum as an inspiring, if ill-defined, concept among progressive Democrats since long before the new resolution outlined more specific goals. It’s already earned the support of every major Democratic candidate to have announced a 2020 campaign so far, including senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand, in a significant shift for a party that was focused on market-based solutions like cap-and-trade just a decade earlier.
According to a summary from congressional staffers, the Green New Deal “sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”
And while Republicans have criticized the plan, saying it would be too expensive and would only exacerbate poverty, environmental groups like Greenpeace have said the plan wouldn’t go far enough to cut emissions. Other groups, including the Sierra Club, voiced their support for the Green New Deal.
The six-page document also identifies many forms of inequality in American society, and calls for new, broad-based solutions.
According to the resolution, the federal government should work “to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.”