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The Green New Deal
The Green New Deal will convert the old, gray economy into a new, sustainable economy that is environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible. It seeks to solve the climate crisis by combining quick action to get to net- zero greenhouse gas emissions and 100% renewable energy by 2030 along with an “Economic Bill of Rights” – the right to single-payer healthcare, a guaranteed job at a living wage, affordable housing and free college education.
European Greens were among those calling for a Green New Deal in 2006 in response to the global financial crisis. In addition to a call for both climate action and a bill of economic rights, the approach by the European Greens sought to democratize the world’s financial system. In New York State, Howie Hawkins promoted a Green New Deal in his 2010 Green Party run for Governor – an issue focus that subsequently was picked up by Jill Stein in her 2012 Presidential campaign and by many other Green Party candidates across the United States.
The national Green Party platform calls for the following:
- Enact an emergency Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy and make wars for oil obsolete. Initiate a WWII-scale national mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history. Create 20 million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable (regenerative) agriculture, conservation and restoration of critical infrastructure, including ecosystems.
- Implement a Just Transition that empowers those communities and workers most impacted by climate change and the transition to a green economy. Ensure that any worker displaced by the shift away from fossil fuels will receive full income and benefits as they transition to alternative work.
- Enact energy democracy based on public, community and worker ownership of our energy system. Treat energy as a human right.
- Redirect research funds from fossil fuels into renewable energy and conservation. Build a nationwide smart electricity grid that can pool and store power from a diversity of renewable sources, giving the nation clean, democratically-controlled, energy.
- End destructive energy extraction and associated infrastructure: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, natural gas pipelines, and uranium mines. Halt any investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, including natural gas, and phase out all fossil fuel power plants. Phase out nuclear power and end nuclear subsidies. End all subsidies for fossil fuels and impose a greenhouse gas fee/tax to charge polluters for the damage they have created.”
Meet the Green New Deal
The Green New Deal starts with a WWII-type mobilization to address the grave threat posed by climate change, transitioning our country to 100% clean energy by 2030. Clean energy does not include natural gas, biomass, nuclear power or the oxymoron “clean coal.”
The implementation of the Green New Deal will revive the economy, turn the tide on climate change and make wars for oil obsolete. This latter result, in turn, enables a 50% cut in the military budget, since maintaining bases all over the world to safeguard fossil fuel supplies and routes of transportation could no longer be justified. That military savings of several hundred billion dollars per year would go a very long way toward creating green jobs at home.
On top of that, the Green New Deal largely pays for itself in healthcare savings from the prevention of fossil fuel-related diseases, including asthma, heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
Moving to 100% clean energy means many more jobs, a healthier environment and far lower electric costs compared to continued reliance upon fossil fuels. Studies have shown that the technology already exists to achieve 100% clean energy by 2030. And we can speed up the transition by making polluters pay for the damage they’ve caused, starting with a robust carbon fee program.
The Green New Deal is not only a major step towards ending unemployment for good, but also a tool to fight the corporate takeover of our democracy and exploitation of the poor and people of color. Our transition to 100% clean energy will be based on community, worker and public ownership and democratic control of our energy system, rather than maximizing profits for energy corporations, banks and hedge funds.
We need to treat clean energy as a human right and a common good. We also need a just transition to provide resources to the low-income communities and communities of color most impacted by climate change.
The Green New Deal will provide assistance to workers and local communities that now have workers employed in the fossil fuel industry and to the developing world as it responds to climate-change damage caused by the industrial world.
What the Green New Deal Will Do
Right now, our federal government subsidizes the rich agribusiness corporations and the oil, mining, nuclear, coal and timber giants at the expense of small farmers, small business and our children’s environment. We spend tens of billions every year moving our economy in the wrong direction. The Green New Deal will instead redirect that money to the real job creators who make our communities healthier, sustainable and secure at the same time.
With the passage and implementation of this program, We the People will:
- Invest in green business by providing grants and low-interest loans to grow green businesses and cooperatives, with an emphasis on small, locally based companies that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors.
- Move to 100% clean energy by 2030: Prioritizing green research by redirecting research funds from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries toward research in wind, solar and geothermal. we will invest in research in sustainable, nontoxic materials and closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, as well as organic agriculture, permaculture and sustainable forestry.
- Provide green jobs by enacting the Full-Employment Program, which will directly provide 16 million jobs in sustainable energy and energy-efficiency retrofitting, mass transit and “complete streets” that promote safe bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture and clean manufacturing.
The Green New Deal includes an Economic Bill of Rights, which ensures all citizens the right to employment through a Full-Employment Program that will create 20 million jobs by implementing a nationally funded, but locally controlled direct-employment initiative. We will replace unemployment offices with local employment offices offering public sector jobs that are “stored” in job banks in order to take up any slack in private sector employment.
100% Clean Energy by 2030
The centerpiece of the Green New Deal is a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.
The climate crisis is a serious threat to the survival of humanity and life on Earth. To prevent catastrophe, we need a WWII-scale mobilization transitioning our country and the world to a sustainable economy with 100% clean, renewable energy, public transit, sustainable agriculture and conservation.
Already, tens of millions of people have been turned into climate refugees while hundreds of thousands die annually from air pollution, heat waves, drought-based food shortages, epidemics, storms and other lethal impacts of climate change and reliance on fossil fuels. And as climate change worsens across the globe, wars fought over access to food, water and land will become commonplace.
Historically, talks aimed at stopping global warming have centered on the goal of staying below a 2 degrees Celsius rise in average temperature. The major “victory” at COP 21 in Paris was that the industrial polluting nations such as the United States agreed with the rest of the world that the existing global warming-cap target of 2°C would lead to catastrophic change.
The recent report by the International Panel on Climate Change warned that the world needs to keep the increase in global warming below 1.5°C and said we had 12 years to take dramatic worldwide action. Timing is running out for such action. The Green New Deal may be our last, best hope.