Tuesday Tip: Why the Green New Deal is Essential

Illustration of sun shining down on windmill farm with mountains and clouds in the background.

The Green New Deal is – finally – a plan with the scope and ambition necessary to transition our society and economy away from fossil fuels and fend off the oncoming climate crisis.

Scientific research is now virtually unanimous: Unless we take drastic action to get carbon emissions under control in the next decade, by the year 2040, the global ecosystem will tip into an irreversible slide toward breakdown. In the United States, warming will devastate every sector of the economy, from agriculture to public health.

The Green New Deal is a plan to prevent this – and more. A proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Green New Deal would entirely transform the U.S. economy, shifting us to 100 percent renewable energy within 10 years. Named for Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal that helped lift the United States out of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Green New Deal is a sweeping program of investment – not only in clean energy, but also in jobs, income inequality, infrastructure, and racial justice. It would give us an economy that is sustainable, strong and fair after our transition away from carbon.

By some estimates, a Green New Deal could create 10 million jobs over the next decade by putting Americans to work on the sustainable technology and infrastructure we need to transition away from fossil fuels. It would reduce income inequality and bring solutions to communities that have been left behind.

Like Pres. Roosevelt’s New Deal, this plan is ambitious – but it is necessary and possible. To make it a reality, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, 45 members of Congress and groups like our allies at the Sunrise Movement – an organization of young climate activists – have urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to establish a House Select Committee on a Green New Deal with a mandate to create a solid plan by 2020 to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2030, invest in communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution, and guarantee good jobs to all who are willing to work for these goals. More than 61,000 CREDO activists have called on House Democrats to support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal.

In addition, activists took their demands directly to Speaker Pelosi to demand immediate action on a new select committee: Hundreds of activists from Sunrise Movement staged multiple protests in the Capitol, the first of which was attended by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez herself, urging Speaker Pelosi to establish the select committee and make climate action front and center in the new Congress. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi stopped short of doing so. Instead, she established the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which does not have the same mandate that climate activists have pushed for, such as allowing the committee to write legislation to transform our economy in the way that’s needed to prevent a climate crisis.

But CREDO and our allies are not deterred by this small setback, and we’re ramping up pressure on the newly Democratic House of Representatives to pass bold, transformative climate and green jobs initiatives and legislation. In addition, we’re calling on 2020 presidential hopefuls to commit to supporting the Green New Deal platform. Recently, after announcing her 2020 campaign bid, progressive champion Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that she “supports the idea of a Green New Deal to ambitiously tackle our climate crisis, economic inequality, and racial injustice.”

To learn and read more about the Green New Deal, Vox has a detailed and lengthy explainer you can check out here.

If you’re concerned about climate change, here’s a step you can take right now: switch your phone service to CREDO Mobile and your home electricity to CREDO Energy. We fight for climate justice through CREDO Action and donate to environmental organizations that are fighting the climate crisis every day, as well as many other progressive nonprofits. Take a look at who we fund and vote for the organizations you think we should fund this month.