House Resolution: Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal
I've been reading misleading media accounts of what is in the New Green Deal Resolution introduced in the House by Rep Ocasio-Cortez. So I went to the language in the Resolution.
The Resolution (link above), of course, is non-binding but serves to mobilize and focus Democrats and any other environmentally conscious people on an ambitious 10 year program to help combat the effects of climate change. It cites the October 2018 ‘‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5o C’’ by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the "November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report" which, among several other findings, states that:
(4) global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrialized levels to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate, which will require— (A) global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030; and (B) net-zero global emissions by 2050.
The language of the New Green Deal Resolution does not specifically adopt these UN goals above, nor does it have any other date specific goals, but some in the media have interpreted it as such. Some have interpreted the 10 year mobilization goal below for projects as a 10 year target for zero emissions. I suppose that can be inferred by the language I have bolded below, but for me it doesn't say that explicitly. Furthermore the New Green Deal is not confined to climate change exclusively, but also addresses the jobs and social programs that an ambitious New Green Deal project would indirectly create and support including a job guarantee.
I have extracted some of the language from the Resolution as follows:
"Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—
"(1) it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal— (A) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers; (B) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; (C) to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century; (D) to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come— (i) clean air and water; (ii) climate and community resiliency; (iii) healthy food; (iv) access to nature; and (v) a sustainable environment; and (E) 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 (referred to in this resolution as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);
"(2) the goals described in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (1) (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal goals’’) should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal mobilization’’) that will require the following goals and projects— (A) building resiliency against climate change-related disasters, such as extreme weather, including by leveraging funding and providing investments for community-defined projects and strategies; (B) repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including— (i) by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible; (ii) by guaranteeing universal access to clean water; (iii) by reducing the risks posed by climate impacts; and (iv) by ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change; (C) meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including…."
You can read the rest of the resolution at the above link. I can support all the initiatives outlined above, but to be clear, I do not subscribe to the notion that net-zero greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved in a decade or by the year 2030 cited by some in the media. The 2050 date in the UN report, however, is technically achievable, but perhaps not politically achievable until we can change Republican brains.