Have you recently heard a lot about the Green New Deal and still do not have any idea of what it is? Well, you are in the right place to figure it out.
What is it and what does it foresee?
The Green New Deal (GND) is a congressional resolution dropped by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez alongside Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, with the aim of transforming the United States into a zero net emissions economy.
Its name refers back to the major government makeover New Deal by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and it combines his economic approach with new ideas such as renewable energy and, like the original one, the Green New Deal is not a piece of legislation.
One of the main objectives is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change while also trying to fix societal problems like economic inequality and racial injustice.
Not only it plans to stop climate change but also and mainly to radically change course and save both our habitat and us while guaranteeing new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries.
The guide of the resolution are two reports published by the United Nations and by federal scientists who warned that the continuous increase of temperatures could lead to more intense heat waves, wildfires and droughts. The research also shows that the United States economy could lose billions of dollars by the end of the century because of climate change.
As AOC claimed during a climate change town-hall event, “This is going to be the Great Society, the moonshot, the civil rights movement of our generation, that is the scale of the ambition that this movement is going to require.”
Indeed, the plan refers to a “10-year mobilization” to reduce carbon emissions in the United States: it aims sourcing 100 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable and zero-emissions power, digitizing the nation’s power grid, upgrading every building in the country to be more energy-efficient, and overhauling the nation’s transportation system by investing in electric vehicles and high-speed rail.
Is the green new deal technologically possible?
Overcoming the skepticism is the biggest challenge to face: the GND has been called “too big”, “too ambitious” and “impossible”. But although these thoughts are understandable, as we have grown up with the idea of no alternative to the rotten system that is destroying our planet, here’s the good news: the old New Deal had to face the same kind of disbelief, but the plan worked anyways.
Among many and different opinions and studies, a research from Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering, shows that 80 percent of the Green New Deal’s target of net-zero greenhouse emissions across the economy could be achieved by 2030, and 100 percent between 2040 and 2050.
The Green New Deal “is technically and economically feasible,” he added. “Socially and politically, it’s a different question.”
How does Joe Biden’s climate change plan compare?
Considered as the “boldest” climate plan of any US president, it doesn’t go as far as the aspiring GND’S proposals: it includes a requirement that 40 percent of the money spent on clean energy deployment, reduction of legacy pollution and other investments go to disadvantaged communities.
It considers a wider period of time to achieve the same goals: while the Green New Deal plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the economy by 2030, Biden aims to reach this landmark by 2050.
Also, it targets a $2tn investment in clean energy to create carbon-free electricity by 2035 and to improve energy efficiency in buildings and housing, while promoting the production of electric vehicles and conservation efforts in the agriculture industry.
What we know for sure is that Biden has to face climate issues in a way no U.S. president has done before and we’ll do our best to keep you update on everything is going to happen.