A Climate Proposal, Explained


Reposted from The New York Times

 Pete Marovich for The New York Times

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If you’ve heard a lot recently about the Green New Deal but still aren’t quite sure what it is, you are not alone. After all, it has been trumpeted by its supporters as the way to avoid planetary destruction, and vilified by opponents as a socialist plot to take away your ice cream. So it’s bound to be somewhat confusing. We’re here to help.

[A Green New Deal is Technologically Possible. Its Political Prospects Are Another Question.]

The Green New Deal is a congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change.

Introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, the proposal calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy. It also aims to guarantee new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries.

The resolution is nonbinding, so even if Congress approves it, nothing in the proposal would become law.

Variations of the proposal have been around for years. Think tanks, the Green Party and even the New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman all have had plans for tackling climate change that they labeled a Green New Deal. But after the 2018 midterm elections, a youth activist group called the Sunrise Movement popularized the name by laying out a strategy and holding a sit-in outside the office of Nancy Pelosi, the soon-to-be-speaker of the House of Representatives, to demand action on climate change.

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