Everything You Need to Know about the Green New Deal
What is the Green New Deal? And why is it a necessity?
The phrase "Green New Deal" was initially used in January 2007 by Pulitzer Prise-winner Thomas Friedman. It was when America just endured its hottest year on record, and Friedman acknowledged that there wasn't going to be a linear and straightforward solution to combating climate change which is often the perspective of many politicians. He recognized that this would require effort, money, and disrupting industries' norms across the spectrum that have contributed heavily to the crisis we face today. The core of the Green New Deal involves shifting away from fossil fuels. Such a transition will require the government to raise prices on them and introduce higher energy standards.
Since Friedman used the term in 2007, the phrase has been poorly defined until Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, alongside Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, introduced a congressional resolution that maps out a plan for combating this growing concern of climate change. It is important to note that this resolution is nonbinding; even if it passes through Congress, nothing within it will become law.
Objective of the Green New Deal
This resolution aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst consequences of climate change while simultaneously attempting to fix societal problems resulting from the environmental crisis, such as economic inequality and racial injustice. The resolution utilises as its guide two reports issued in 2019 by the United Nations and by federal scientists who warned that if global temperatures continue to rise, the world is looking towards more intense heat waves, droughts, and wildfires.
The Green New Deal requires the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly. In addition to this, part of the plan is to create high-paying jobs; with the shift towards sustainable energy. Also, guaranteeing clean water, clean air, and healthy food as a fundamental human right is a big part of the resolution. Ultimately, such action will make ending all forms of oppression more feasible. To successfully achieve these objectives, the resolution calls for a 10-year mobilization to reduce carbon emission within the United States. It foresees sourcing 100% of the country's electricity from renewable and zero-emissions power, upgrading every building to be more energy-efficient, and revamping the nation's transportation system by investing in high-speed rail and electric vehicles. Concerning social justice, the plan calls for the government's duty to implement job training and new economic development, primarily targeting communities that currently are dependent on jobs in fossil fuel industries.
You can read the resolution for yourself and determine the necessity of the Green New Deal. It is necessary to be aware of such an attempt to resolve and reform an issue affecting all communities worldwide!
Why is the Green New Deal necessary?
The Green New Deal is an important and necessary step to saving the planet before it's too late! That should be incentive enough to realise why we need such a plan on a global scale. Beyond the urgency of this resolution, it is also sparking necessary conversation around the climate crisis's gravity. It's ultimately a plan, a step forward that will put us on an accelerated path to a cleaner earth. The first step must be holding those who contribute severely to the crisis accountable. Nothing can be achieved without government assistance and funding further research to implement the best possible approach forward. The proposal strongly focuses on environmental justice in all of its multitudes, investments in technology and infrastructure. It seeks to address structural inequality that is so far entrenched within the current economic system.
The Green New Deal heavily focuses on the environmental crisis. It goes far beyond the environment, aiming to address all the issues that have amplified due to the crisis, including the inequalities that contributed to it. For example, the US Green New Deal involves universal health care and a guarantee of an increase in employment. The Canadian proposal focuses on supporting Indigenous communities' rights, many of whom are directly affected by the crisis we face. Ultimately, this resolution's premise is an integration of the role of government and outcomes that are focused on equality and justice.
An important takeaway from this deal is understanding that it offers a solution and a possible way to approach the issues we face as a globe. It may be viewed as ambitious, however the magnitude of the climate crisis requires ambitious policies and resolutions.