U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Woodside, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, College Point, parts of the Bronx) along with U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) today intoduced The Green New Deal resolution outlining in general terms the goals of an ambitious progressive plan to overhaul the U.S. economy across all sectors, from finance to energy to social services to keep it in line with the changing climate.
The resolution is based on an October 2018 report entitled “Special Report on Global Warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the November 2018 Fourth National 6 Climate Assessment report that found among other things that:
Human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century
A changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure
“Our first step is to define the problem and define the scope of the solution,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters during a Thursday afternoon press conference for her newly-introduced proposal. “Small, incremental policy solutions are not enough.”
The report also warned that unless urgent and drastic action is taken, global temperatures could rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) between 2030 and 2052, which could have catastrophic repercussions for the economy, the environment, humans and wildlife.
While the report isn’t long on solutions, it seeks to start a blueprint for a holistic way to create a green economy across all, business, culture, economic and social sectors.
The resolution includes plans to decarbonize the economy, reduce greenhouse gases, make sure low-income and minority communities benefit, create a federal jobs guarantee, provide universal health care and make investments in infrastructure.
The Green New Deal resolution calls on the Federal government to initiate a 10 year national mobilization to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions; create millions of good, high-wage union jobs and guarantee a job to every American; invest in infrastructure and transform our transportation sector; secure clean air and water, climate resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for current and future generations; and promote justice and equity for oppressed and marginalized people and communities.
Among those immediately praising the resolution was U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
“Climate change is real, it threatens us, and the evidence is now irrefutable that if we don’t act immediately to stop it, then our land, our water, our air, and our lives will all be upended in potentially catastrophic ways. There will be no going back. I urge my colleagues: Rise to this challenge, prevent the catastrophe, and pass a Green New Deal that protects and strengthens our country in this new, uncertain era,” said Gillibrand.
“We can end the climate change crisis, we can dramatically modernize our economy, and we can create countless new jobs across the entire country that can’t be shipped overseas – but we can only do it if Congress seizes this opportunity and acts now, instead of wasting more time arguing about whether or not the problem is even real. We cannot wait another day. I urge all of my colleagues to fight with me for a Green New Deal that puts Americans to work to solve this extraordinary challenge,” she added.