Green Party Says Huge Numbers at NYC Climate March Highlights the Need for Faster and Stronger Action, Including an Ecosocialist Green New Deal
The Green Party, which first began calling in 2010, is heartened to see such widespread support for a Green New Deal (GND) among the estimated 75,000 people who marched on Sunday to demand faster climate action from President Biden. For Greens the most important response to global warming would be the rapid and full halt to fossil fuel emissions and welcomed the call by more than 600 groups to demand much swifter action against the use of fossil fuels from The Biden administration.
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2023
Gregg Jocoy, Media Committee Co-chair, [email protected] | 202-804-2758
Gloria Mattera, Media Committee Co-chair, [email protected] | 202-804-2758
Mark Dunlea, EcoAction Committee, Co-chair, [email protected] 518 860-3725
The party’s call for a GND combined a ten year transition to 100% renewable clean energy and zero emissions (including an immediate halt to new fossil fuels) with an Economic Bill of Rights that includes single payer universal health care, a guaranteed living wage job and income, housing for all, and free comprehensive education (including college and an abolition of student debt).
The Green Party welcomed the long-delayed action by President Biden today to create a Climate Corps program but said that the 20,000 positions were far lower than what was needed. While the GND includes a provision for guaranteed full employment with living wage jobs, the transition to renewable energy will itself be a full employment program. One of the major challenges that funding is needed for is to train enough workers for the enormous number of jobs that are already being created in the renewable energy field.
The Green Party contingent was made up of 11 state parties and locals along with several local candidates. At least two presidential candidates seeking the Green Party nomination also marched with their supporters. In addition, some party members participated in the various direct actions against fossil fuels before and after the Sunday march that were led by environmental justice and frontline groups.
Mark Dunlea, co-chair of the Green Party’s national EcoAction Committee, was one of the 150 arrested protesting the Federal Reserve’s role in continuing to allow for the financing for fossil fuels. Dunlea helped organize the successful effort to divest the New York City pension funds from fossil fuels and was the Green Party candidate for New York State Comptroller in the ongoing effort to divest the state’s pension fund from oil and gas companies, including nearly a billion dollars still invested in Exxon.
“Climate change presents an existential challenge to the future of human civilization and is contributing to the rapid worldwide extinction of species,” said Dunlea. “Even the head of the United Nations says we are out of time for governments at all levels to take radical immediate action to keep global warming below 1.5 C. Well before the prior administration, Green presidential candidates committed to declaring a climate emergency if elected and taking strong executive action as outlined in CimatePresident.org. We need to build a different world which values all humans and other beings rather than focusing on increasing the wealth of the 1%,” said Dunlea, author of Putting Out the Planetary Fire.
The Party has long advocated for having the government control the monetary system rather than leaving it in the hands of private banks. As part of the party’s ecosocialist approach, Greens want the transition to zero emissions and 100% renewable energy within 10 years to be publicly controlled through public power systems, public ownership of the energy system including utilities, and the promotion of community and worker ownership of most enterprises.
Greens believe that the recent guidance to financial institutions by the US Department of Treasury went nowhere far enough (e.g., failed to call for a halt or even a phaseout to financing fuel projects) while supporting false climate solutions such as carbon offsets. The Green Party has opposed Congressional actions to promote a multitude of corporate greenwashing such as carbon capture technology, nuclear power, and biofuels.
Craig Cayetano, Green Party US Steering Committee Co-Chair and New Jersey Co-Chair said, “I attended in solidarity with the other 700 plus organizations working to hold President Biden‘s feet to the fire and end the use of fossil fuels now. The Green Party stands for a real Eco-Socialist Green New Deal. We have put forward policies that help seriously reduce impacts by 2030. Each year we draw closer to that number and are losing time.”
The Green Party applauded the leadership role played by many key environmental justice, indigenous, and frontline groups in organizing the week of climate actions, including the shutdown of Citibank headquarters and the fossil fuel funders protest at MOMA (Metropolitan Museum OF Art). The Greens have criticized the Democrats for failing to actually deliver on the goal of investing 40% of all climate funding in disadvantaged communities. The Greens have also called to finance a Just Transition for a clean energy future by slashing the military budget by at least half and making polluters pay for the damage they have caused, including reparations for the Global South.
“Not only do we have to end the capitalist system in order to survive the climate crisis, we have to overthrow the power of the fossil industry and corporate America. America is dying from a lack of grassroots democracy. We need full public campaign financing; proportional representation; and ranked choice voting that will allow smaller, independent parties and average Americans to provide an alternative to the corporate military industrial agenda embraced by the two major parties,” added Gloria Mattera, co-chair of the Green Party of New York.
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