As Extreme Weather Rages Globally, Climate Groups Demand Biden and Congressional Democrats Fund a Robust, Ecosocialist Green New Deal
WASHINGTON — As extreme weather intensifies across the planet, more than 110 green, community, labor and faith groups released a letter today urging President Biden and Congressional Democrat leaders to fund a 10-year, $42 trillion ecosocialist Green New Deal far larger than the $3.5 trillion stimulus package target announced last week by Senator Schumer.
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager, [email protected], 202-804-2758
Diana Brown, Co-chair, Media Committee, [email protected], 202-804-2758
Philena Farley, Co-chair, Media Committee, [email protected], 202-804-2758
Mark Dunlea, Co-Chair, EcoAction Committee, [email protected], 518 860-3725
“This is America’s last, best chance to help ensure we avoid the worst consequences of climate collapse. While the world’s remaining ‘carbon budget’ has been predicted to run out in only seven years, other recent studies — including one leaked from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — show the situation is likely even more dire. With the Democrats facing a major challenge in the 2022 elections to hold their narrow control of Congress, the world cannot afford them to squander this opportunity on anything less than a full-out mobilization of the country’s resources,” said Mark Dunlea, Co-chair of the EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the United States.
The groups are calling for an annual $4.2 trillion investment for the next decade in a combination of climate investment and an Economic Bill of Rights. The latter, which would include responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, includes a guaranteed living wage job and income for all Americans, expanded and improved Medicare-for-All, housing and education. The federal government would plan and manage the construction of publicly-owned, energy systems and manufacturing, coordinating the transformation of our manufacturing, agricultural, and transportation systems for environmental sustainability and economic democracy.
The green stimulus program would have a goal of slashing greenhouse emissions as rapidly as possible (e.g., zero by 2030). Such a goal necessitates immediately halting any expansion or development of new fossil fuel infrastructure, including fracking and oil and gas pipelines. Existing fossil fuel use must also be rapidly phased out, as well.
The groups advocate paying for the stimulus through: higher taxes on the wealthy (and cracking down on their tax evasion), at least a 50% cut in the Pentagon budget, and a robust carbon tax based on the principle of polluters pay and borrowing.
Coinciding with this week’s letter, elected officials across the planet on Monday launched a Global Alliance for a Green New Deal. Green Party of England and Wales member of Parliament Caroline Lucas, who introduced the first Green New Deal Bill more than a decade ago, stated "Pledges and targets will not avert catastrophic climate change — ambitious action will, but it's been perilously absent. The world is running out of time and out of excuses. A Green New Deal wouldn't only avert the worst of the climate and nature crises. It would make everyday life better for the vast majority of people wherever they live in the world. This is our moonshot moment, but this time it's about making a better life here on Earth.” U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is also a co-founder of the alliance.
350.org local affiliates from across the country have signed the letter. "The world is facing a climate emergency and we need the White House and Congress to act like it. We need to halt new fossil fuels and rapidly phase out existing uses. We need to invest in a green economic stimulus that supports a Just Transition and invests heavily in assisting the principal victims of climate change - low-income and communities of color,” said Sandy Steubing of PAUSE, the Albany 350 affiliate.
“Since our Camp firestorms killed at least 86 mostly elders in 2018, where we lost 14,000 homes and Bear/North Complex fires of 2020, where we lost 900 more homes, we feel ignored as our streets are filled with homeless fire survivors who still have not received one dime from PG&E even though PG&E pled guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter,” said Mark Kay Benson, 350 Butte.
“The Green New Deal would bring extra sources of income allowing us to better pay for programs like education and social services, allowing us to not rely on an economy solely based on tourism. Any renewable energy sources will pay for themselves in a matter of a few years. By 2050 we will have a natural disaster in every direction we look. By 2050 we will have run out of non-renewable resources. By 2050 it will be too late. There is no future letting avarice influence any decisions made. We didn't act yesterday so we need to act now. Pass the Green New Deal,” said Daniel Alves of the Green Party of Nevada.
“The world, our country and the Upstate NY region where my fellow workers toil and live is experiencing the ravages of a runaway climate catastrophe brought about by an economic cabal destined to exploit all of nature, its flora and fauna, and the workers who are struggling just to survive the system’s greed. Time is past due to change. A Green New Deal to replace the deadly paradigm we have mistakenly assumed would sustain us is our only hope to rebuild smart, rebuild sustainably, rebuild peaceably. I beg you to see the future as I and my fellow workers see it and join us for an ecological and economic transformation that will save the future generations from the disasters we are so frequently experiencing in the present,” said Greg Giorgio, Secretary, Upstate NY Regional Branch of the IWW.
"In our dozen years of our on-the-ground activism on behalf of people and the only planet we have — despite Bezos and Branson's sickening, ego-fueled joyrides — we have seen local, state, and national leaders fail us, even as more and more climate-related catastrophes including the current pandemic have befallen communities and destroyed lives nationwide. There is no ‘safe’ place now. Taking an ecosocialist approach immediately is our last, best hope for mitigating the effects of climate disruption and creating an egalitarian society in which all may flourish," said Maura Stephens, a cofounder of the Coalition to Protect New York.
“The original Civilian Conservation Corps was instrumental in aiding in the recovery of forest ecosystems, in preventing erosion, in restoring and establishing native plant populations and in bolstering and reintroducing native fauna as well. As we train workers to be skilled at habitat restoration, we can work with an eye towards helping the land adjust to climate changes, towards making sure we have maximum carbon storage in our rural areas, and towards using smart growth principles to construct affordable housing in compact urban areas, avoiding smothering rural and farm lands with new housing developments as our dense coastal populations relocate inland,” said Grace Nichols of Save the Pine Bush.
A copy of the letter is available online.
To: President Joe Biden
Cc: Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Dear President Biden:
We urge you and Congress to immediately fund an ecosocialist Green New Deal with an annual $4.2 trillion investment for ten years to help prevent climate collapse while helping our country recover from COVID-19.
We call for a presidential declaration of a climate emergency with various executive orders to implement it. We must – as a coalition of hundreds of groups representing millions of people across the country fighting for climate, racial and economic justice have called for – Build Back Fossil Free.
We are facing a climate emergency that threatens the future of humanity. The recently leaked study by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that we must immediately take radical, comprehensive action to avoid catastrophic global warming. The situation is much worse than the IPCC stated two years ago when it called for urgent action. The study warns of a series of thresholds, such as at the melting of polar ice sheets and the loss of the Amazon rainforest, beyond which recovery from climate breakdown may become impossible: “Life on Earth can recover from a drastic climate shift by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems … humans cannot.”
The acceleration of extreme weather throughout the planet – wildfires on the West Coast and Australia, unprecedented heat waves worldwide, flooding, droughts – shows that we have already squandered far too much time .
We support an annual $2.7-trillion investment in climate action, including the rapid expansion of clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind (offshore as well as land-based), geothermal, and battery storage, as well as conservation. This expansion needs to be accomplished by targeting the funds to municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and community and worker-owned companies. We support a sustainable, regenerative agriculture system and other natural processes to capture carbon. We must avoid the mistake of funding false climate solutions such as carbon capture technology, “renewable” gas, biomass and nuclear.
An additional $1.4 trillion annually should be invested in an Economic Bill of Rights, helping America recover from the COVID crisis. This includes finally making health care a universal right through an improved and expanded Medicare for All program. We should guarantee everyone a living wage job and a minimum income. We also need to make access to college education and quality, energy efficient housing a human right.
The green infrastructure proposal should focus on public ownership and democratic control — rather than private profit — since the capitalist system and reliance on market forces created the climate crisis.
The federal government should plan and manage the construction of publicly owned energy systems and manufacturing, coordinating the transformation of our manufacturing, agricultural, and transportation systems for environmental sustainability. Such efforts have been used in prior national emergencies such as after Pearl Harbor to ensure that all of our nation’s resources are marshaled to solve the crisis. The public enterprises created in this new program must remain under social ownership as public utilities and community worker cooperatives, unlike after World War II when they were turned over to the wealthy and their giant corporations.
Public ownership would help ensure community residents get to determine the siting for such large-scale renewable energy projects, speeding up the construction process.
The green stimulus program should have a goal of slashing greenhouse emissions as rapidly as possible (e.g., zero by 2030). Not only must we immediately halt any expansion of, or development of new fossil, fuel infrastructure, including fracking and oil and gas pipelines, but we must also rapidly phase out existing uses altogether. This includes funding a transition from heating and cooling by gas to clean renewable energy such as geothermal and heat pumps. We must invest in energy efficiency, including a massive investment to retrofit existing homes and buildings while requiring new buildings to be zero emission structures.
The climate action program needs to be based on the concept of a Just Transition. We need to guarantee wages, benefits and jobs for up to five years for workers and communities presently dependent on fossil fuels, ensuring all Americans prosper from the green transformation. At least 40% of the funds must go to the communities most harmed by pollution and climate change.
We should pay for the stimulus through higher taxes on the wealthy (and cracking down on their tax evasion), at least a 50% cut in the Pentagon budget, a robust carbon tax based on the principle of polluters pay and borrowing. Over time, the program will cover its costs, including borrowed funds, out of revenues from public enterprises, including public power fees, public transit fares, and public housing rents.
We oppose the proposal to fund the bipartisan infrastructure deal by privatizing infrastructure that should be public assets. For example, the deal would facilitate a Wall Street takeover of public services like water, which we absolutely oppose.
This is America’s last opportunity to avoid climate chaos. President Biden, we need bold leadership from you and Congress that puts the needs of the many ahead of the wealth of the few. A Green New Deal is the path to jobs, peace and a livable future.
|EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the United States||National|
|350 Butte County||CA|
|350 West Sound Climate Action||Washington|
|Affordable Beauty||New York|
|Athens County's Future Action Network (ACFAN.org)||Ohio|
|Aytzim: Ecological Judaism||NY and national|
|Berkeley Fellowship of UU's Social Justice Committee||CA|
|Bronx Climate Justice North||NY|
|Bronx Green Party||New York|
|Broome Tioga Green Party||NY|
|Campaign for Renewable Energy||NY|
|Capital District Socialist Party||New York|
|Church Women United in New York State||NY|
|Climate Reality Project||New York|
|Coalition for Outreach, Policy, & Education||New York|
|Coalition to Protect New York||New York|
|Corvallis Interfaith Climate Justice Committee||Oregon|
|Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy (CIECP)||New York|
|DC Metro Science for the People||DC|
|DC Statehood Green Party||DC|
|Dominican Sisters of Sparkill||New York|
|Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition||NY|
|Earth Action, Inc.||Florida|
|Environmental Justice Taskforce of the WNY Peace Center||New York|
|Environmentalists Against War||California|
|Erie County Green Party||NY|
|Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement||New York|
|Granny Peace Brigade, NYC||NY|
|Green Education and Legal Fund||New York|
|Green Party of Alameda County||CA|
|Green Party of Bay County||Florida|
|Green Party of Butte County, CA||CA|
|Green Party of California||CA|
|Green Party of Duval County||FL|
|Green Party of Nassau County||NY|
|Green Party of New York||New York|
|Green Party of Santa Clara County, CA||California|
|Green Party of Texas||Texas|
|Green Party of Texas||Texas|
|Hampton Roads Green Party||Virginia|
|Harford County Climate Action||Maryland|
|Health Care A Right||PA|
|Illinois Green Party||IL|
|Integrated Environmental Data, LLC||New York|
|International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute||CA|
|Iowa Green Party||Iowa|
|Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution||USA|
|Love Plant Nourish by Ike & Eli's Organic Farm, LLC||TX|
|Manhattan Local of the NY Green Party||New York|
|Metro N.Y. Catholic Climate Movement||NY|
|Morningside Gardens Green Committee for Environmental Sustainability||New York|
|Mothers Out Front-Tompkins||New York|
|NC Climate Justice Collective||North Carolina|
|Nevada Green Party||Nevada|
|New York University - Tisch School of the Arts||NY|
|Nicaragua Center for Community Action||CA|
|North American Climate, Conservation and Environment(NACCE)||New York|
|North Bronx Racial Justice||NY|
|North Carolina Green Party||North Carolina|
|North Country Earth Action||NY|
|Nuclear Age Peace Foundation||New York|
|Ocean State Green Party||RI|
|Pacific Green Party, Linn-Benton (OR) Chapter||Oregon|
|PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy||NY|
|Peacemakers of Schoharie County||New York|
|People's Climate Movement-Capital Region||New York|
|Pioneer Valley Local - Green-Rainbow Party of MA.||MA|
|Pollution free society||TN|
|Puget Sound Socialist Party||Washington|
|Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center||Colorado|
|Save the Pine Bush||New York|
|Schenectady Neighbors For Peace||New York|
|Seeds for the Sol||Oregon|
|Sisters of Charity Federation||NY|
|Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, New York||NY|
|Snake River Alliance||ID|
|Social Eco Education (SEE-LA)||CA|
|Solidarity Committee--Capital District||NY|
|Spring Hill United Church of Christ||Florida|
|Stephanie Low Artists Inc.||New York|
|Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE)||NY|
|Stop SPOT and Texas Gulf link saveourgulfcoast||Tx|
|Sustainable Tompkins||New York|
|System Change Not Climate Change||North America|
|The Borneo Project||CA|
|The Committee to Elect Joe Manchik for Congress||Ohio|
|The Earth, Inc., Buddhist Action Coalition, CRICCC||NY|
|Treaty Alignment Campaign||Massachusetts|
|Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany||NY|
|Upstate NY IWW||New York|
|Veterans For Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132||OR|
|Volusia Climate Action||Florida|
|Weather Medic Inc||New York|
|WESPAC Foundation, Inc.||NY|
|WILPF St Louis||Missouri|
Green New Deal — Full Language, gp.org
GP.org Earth Day Petition: “Tell Biden and Schumer to "Follow the Science, Not the Fossil Fuel Money"
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