Green New Deal
Green New Deal / Updates / In the News
January 17, 2019
January 15, 2019
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2019 Green New Deal calls for doubling distributed solar by 2025 and nearly quadrupling offshore wind by 2035.
The plan, outlined in Cuomo's 2019 "Justice Agenda", calls for a "globally unprecedented" ramp-up in renewable energy deployments as New York seeks to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040, and ultimately to eliminate its entire carbon footprint.
“Amidst the Trump administration’s assault on the environment and in order to continue New York’s progress in the fight against climate change," the briefing states, "Governor Cuomo is announcing New York’s Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that will put the state on a path to carbon neutrality across all sectors of New York’s economy."
Former California Governor Jerry Brown signed a similar executive order last fall calling for the Golden State to achieve carbon neutrality economy-wide by 2045. California also passed legislation to achieve 100 percent clean electricity by the same year.
January 11, 2019
Rep. Kathy Castor is the Tampa Bay Florida Democrat that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has chosen to chair the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
"We are in a race against time," Castor, 52, told USA TODAY.
Castor spoke of her committee and the challenges it faces:
Q: Much of the information on climate change is out there. So what do you hope to accomplish with this new committee?
Castor: We're going to press for dramatic carbon pollution reduction. We want to win the clean energy future to defend the American way of life and avoid catastrophic and costly weather events that have dire impacts.
Q: What are some of the issues you want to pursue and how will you work with the standing congressional committee to achieve them?
Castor: Right off the bat, we will tackle fuel economy standards, make sure the Commerce Committee and the (Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) are focused on that. The Financial Services Committee has to do a flood insurance reform bill. We will be involved in that as well.
Q: You mentioned flood insurance. Representing a coastal district, you know what flooding and storms can do. Should we rebuild along the shore?
Castor: We shouldn't be insuring at taxpayer expense homes and businesses that have been destroyed repeatedly on the shore. Folks know full well that they're in hurricane's path or flood's path and they do that on their own. I'm concerned the (flood) maps are not up-to-date, that states and local communities are not acting fast enough to adopt policies to revise maps.
Q: Is there a concern you may getting in the way of standing committees who are already charged with environmental protection and climate change issues?
Castor: No, we're going to be complimentary. This is a collaborative effort. It's just being elevated because the threat to our way of life is at stake. It's all hands on deck... I do see our jurisdiction as being very broad. We're talking about the planet.
We don't have time to wait. Whatever we can press to accomplish as soon as possible, we will do that.
USA Today goes on to speak of immediate challenges of the new committee:
The committee already faces obstacles:
• Republicans, who have consistently downplayed the effects of climate change, say the panel is unfairly partisan (nine Democrats vs. six Republicans).
• Progressives, who support a comprehensive approach known as the Green New Deal, worry the committee won't be aggressive enough.
Green New Deal Letter to Congress
January 6, 2018
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, is interviewed on CBS - "60 Minutes".
The Green New Deal is top of mind.
“What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacities to the furthest extent possible?” Ocasio-Cortez asks Anderson Cooper.
She goes on to talk financing of the Green New Deal, even speaking of marginal taxing of incomes of over 10 million per year. “There’s an element where yeah, people are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes.”
When told by Cooper that this is a "radical" idea... Ocasio-Cortez responds: “I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country... if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”
January 1, 2019
By Ellen Brown - founder, Public Banking Institute
Calls for a Universal Basic Income have been increasing, most recently as part of the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and supported in the last month by at least 40 members of Congress. A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a monthly payment to all adults with no strings attached, similar to Social Security. Critics say the Green New Deal asks too much of the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the resolution proposes. It says funding would primarily come from the federal government, “using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks,” and other vehicles.
The Federal Reserve alone could do the job. It could buy “Green” federal bonds with money created on its balance sheet, just as the Fed funded the purchase of $3.7 trillion in bonds in its “quantitative easing” program to save the banks. The Treasury could also do it....
In fact the consumer economy is chronically short of spendable income, due to the way money enters the consumer economy. We actually need regular injections of money to avoid a “balance sheet recession” and allow for growth, and a UBI is one way to do it.
The pros and cons of a UBI are hotly debated and have been discussed elsewhere. The point here is to show that it could actually be funded year after year without driving up taxes or prices...
A Green New Deal for cars would be easier than you think
Via The Week / January 2019
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report last year stating that the world is quickly running out of time to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the level widely agreed to be the conservative, safety-first goal to prevent serious climate harms. To get there, the world would have to cut current emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
That sounds preposterously unlikely. Even 2 degrees of warming — which would be much worse than 1.5 degrees — would be nearly impossible to hit at this point (if we set aside hugely risky geoengineering schemes or untested carbon capture industries).... before we give in to despair, we should remember that the technology to address climate change is barreling along at high speed. The largest source of U.S. carbon emissions is transportation, and a Green New Deal for motor vehicles would be quite straightforward...
Special Intergovernmental Report / Global Warming of 1.5 ºC
• December 29, 2018 / Via The Guardian / Green New Deal: Technically Possible?
• December 28
San Francisco – Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi issued this statement announcing that Congresswoman Kathy Castor of Florida will chair the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis:
“It is with great enthusiasm that I appoint Congresswoman Kathy Castor as the Chair of our new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. She will bring great experience, energy and urgency to the existential threat of the climate crisis. This committee will be critical to the entire Congress’s mission to respond to the urgency of this threat, while creating the good-paying, green jobs of the future.
“Congresswoman Castor is a proven champion for public health and green infrastructure, who deeply understands the scope and seriousness of this threat. Her decades of experience in this fight, both in Florida and in the Congress, where she has been an outstanding leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee and on the House Democratic Environmental Message Team, will be vital.
“The American people have demanded action to combat the climate crisis, which threatens our public health, our economy, our national security and the whole of God’s creation. Together, we must protect public health by reducing air pollution, create jobs by making America preeminent in green technologies, defend our national security by preventing climate-driven instability and uphold our sacred moral responsibility to leave a healthy, sustainable future for generations to come.”
• December 22 / https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060110343
House Democrats are hammering out a final proposal for a select committee on climate change, but it's one that likely won't please progressive activists pushing the "Green New Deal."
Incoming Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said yesterday he's working with leadership on a formal proposal for the committee, which will be included in the rules package, one of the first items the House will vote on in the new Congress. He added that he expects to have something together "in the next couple of days."
What the select committee actually looks like in the next Congress is being dictated largely by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was talking about bringing back the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming weeks before Ocasio-Cortez took up the idea.
Then-Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) chaired that panel the last time Democrats controlled the House, and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) is poised to lead it this time around (Greenwire, Dec. 20).
John Bowman, senior director of federal affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, cheered the news. "As a longtime environmental champion, few are better suited to help shine a bright light on the threats Americans face from the climate crisis and advance the solutions we urgently need," he said...
But progressives were especially miffed by news this week that the panel would likely not have subpoena power (Climatewire, Dec. 20).
"Our ultimate end goal isn't a Select Committee. Our goal is to treat Climate Change like the serious, existential threat it is by drafting an ambitious solution on the scale necessary — a Green New Deal — to get it done. A weak committee misses the point and endangers people," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Wednesday (Dec. 19).
At the same time, even some members who have backed Ocasio-Cortez's proposal don't see that distinction as a big deal. McGovern, for instance, voiced his support last week.
The important thing will be to get a select committee up and running within "existing structures" to help spotlight the issue, McGovern said. If the select panel is willing to work with committees of jurisdiction, its lack of subpoena power likely won't be an issue.
"The bottom line is that there are ways to deal with that," McGovern said. "They can work with committees of jurisdiction if they want to have somebody subpoenaed and join them in joint hearings."
• December 20 / Democratic leaders ask Kathy Castor to chair climate panel
- Democratic House leaders have tapped Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) to lead a new committee on climate change in the next Congress, the lawmaker confirmed this morning...
Via Yale Program on Climate Change Communication / Dec. 14, 2018
Members of Congress are proposing a “Green New Deal” for the U.S. They say that a Green New Deal will produce jobs and strengthen America’s economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. The Deal would generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years; upgrade the nation’s energy grid, buildings, and transportation infrastructure; increase energy efficiency; invest in green technology research and development; and provide training for jobs in the new green economy.
While the Green New Deal has been a fixture of the post-election news cycle, and at least 40 members of Congress (to date) have endorsed the idea...
Yale Program to poll the level of national support for a Green New Deal, we surveyed a nationally-representative sample of registered voters in the United States.
As expected, support is strongest among Democrats (92%). But a large majority of Republicans (64%) – including conservative Republicans (57%) – also support the policy goals in our description of the Green New Deal.
Pelosi has promised to revive a climate panel as she seeks to meet the demands of bold action pushed by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and youth climate advocates...
More than half a dozen lawmakers and aides say Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), currently a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is being considered to lead the select committee. No final decision is imminent, the sources say...
Castor didn’t deny her interest in serving on it Tuesday morning...
“Everyone in the caucus is interested in tackling the climate crisis,” Castor said, adding the committee could supplement existing efforts...
December 3, 2018
A long history of Green New Deals
The idea of a large-scale public investment in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions is not new. For example, as far back as 2003 the nonprofit Apollo Alliance sought to make an alliance between environmental and labour groups for a “a new Apollo project” to undertake a $300bn, 10-year effort to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
The term “green new deal” has been used by many different groups over the years. It was promoted by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman back in 2007, by the UK-based New Economics Foundation in 2008 and by, among others, the European Greens, Green 'Social Dimension', a Global Call to Action, and US Green parties.
Earlier in 2018, the U.S. thinktank Data for Progress published a detailed policy report on what such a programme might entail, including a commitment to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions from all US energy consumption by 2050.
The details differ by proposal, but the common theme is a large-scale investment of public resources for rapid decarbonisation, modelled after the emergency measures taken in the 1930s by US president Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression.
A “solving our climate crisis” town-hall event is due to take place today in Washington DC, where the green new deal will be debated by the likes of Ocasio-Cortez, veteran environmental and author (and former GreenPolicy advisor) Bill McKibben and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.
December 2, 2018
“I can’t imagine under the Trump administration that anything labelled a `Green New Deal’ would be successful, especially if it is framed in terms of climate change.”
The plan seemed like a “no-brainer’’ after recent discussions between House Republicans and Democrats about infrastructure as an area where the two parties could find common ground.
(A) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall be developed in order to achieve the following goals, in each case in no longer than 10 years from the start of execution of the Plan:
- (1) 100% of national power generation from renewable sources;
- (2) Building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
- (3) Upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
- (4) Decarbonizing the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries;
- (5) Decarbonizing, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure;
- (6) Funding massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases;
- (7) Making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely carbon neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.
(B) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that a national, industrial, economic mobilization of this scope and scale is a historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation. In furtherance of the foregoing, the Plan (and the draft legislation) shall:
- (i)provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure every person who wants one, a living wage job;
- (ii) take into account and be responsive to the historical and present-day experiences of low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harm;
- (iii)mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, deindustrialized or other marginalized communities);
- (iv) include additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism; and
- (v) deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment.
(C) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that innovative public and other financing structures are a crucial component in achieving and furthering the goals and guidelines relating to social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality and cooperative and public ownership set forth in paragraphs (2)(A)(i) and (6)(B). The Plan (and the draft legislation) shall, accordingly, ensure that the majority of financing of the Plan shall be accomplished by the federal government, using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks, public venture funds and such other vehicles or structures that the select committee deems appropriate, in order to ensure that interest and other investment returns generated from public investments made in connection with the Plan will be returned to the treasury, reduce taxpayer burden and allow for more investment.
The rise of Democrats who support policy that might actually make a difference on climate pollution / 11/07/2018
Supporters of a Green New Deal are gaining power in the very election that’s bleeding the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. The 90-member club ― derided as “peacocks” by critics who say it served only to launder the reputations of members who consistently vote against climate policies ― lost several members...
"This is the sort of bold and audacious thinking that we need when it comes to confronting the ever-pressing challenge of averting catastrophic climate change." -- Michael Mann, climate scientist at Penn State University
A "Green New Deal"?
Is the U.S. ready for a rapid transition to a clean energy economy?
A New Deal-style program is the kind of plan scientists say could actually make a difference on climate-changing emissions.
October 2018 / Via Vox
With the federal government AWOL on climate change, another state steps up.
With President Donald Trump’s administration dismantling federal climate policy as fast as it can, all eyes have turned to the states. As last month’s Global Climate Action Summit in California illustrated, state leaders are stepping forward with big promises and inspirational rhetoric, attempting to rally the domestic troops, build some momentum, and signal to the world that the US isn’t a lost cause.
1631 is a fee. That’s not just semantics — in Washington, it matters. A tax goes into general revenue (even if it is offset by tax cuts). All the revenue from a fee must be devoted to the purpose of the fee.
Of the 1631 revenue:
- 70 percent would go to “clean air and clean energy.” 15 percent of that would go specifically to easing the burden on low-income energy consumers. $12 million would go to a fund that helps ease fossil fuel workers transition out of the industry.
- 25 percent would go to “clean water and healthy forests,” increasing the resilience of the state’s natural ecosystems to climate change.
- 5 percent would go to “healthy communities,” assisting (especially rural) communities impacted by climate change.
Re: the initiative's fees ... beginning with a carbon tax, estimated to raise an average of about $900 million per year even starting with a low-end tax rate of $15 per ton of carbon.
An analysis by economist Robert Pollin and colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute concluded that “clean energy investments in Washington State that would be sufficient to put the state on a true climate stabilization trajectory will generate about 40,000 jobs per year within the state.”
The result of I-1631 would be a rolling wave of investments across the state, to the tune of around a billion dollars a year, for decades to come. Here is I-1631 map showing the types of local investments that could be funded by carbon revenue:
Political Policies Calling for a Green New Deal
Progressive candidates campaign on green politics and eco-nomics
A sustainable and just environmental plan is not only good policy, it’s good politics
In 2008 Barack Obama added a Green New Deal to his platform.
When he took office in January 2009 and he inherited what many called the weakest American economy since the Great Depression. Facing the challenge, he made energy the centerpiece of his economic recovery plan. In one bold move, President Obama launched what was called the “Green New Deal.”
In 2009, the United Nations drafted a report calling for a Global Green New Deal to focus government stimulus on renewable energy projects.
Support for a Green New Deal
Kevin de León / California
Today, our economy is creating less of the jobs we need to keep our country standing strong, and more of the greenhouse gases that will bring our planet to its knees. In California, we've been working on policies that cut emissions, boost renewable energy production, and – most importantly – create stable, high-paying jobs with meaning. We can get the U.S. on the right track, too, but we won’t get there by keeping coal companies on life support, gutting the EPA, and leaving communities of color the doctor’s bills that fossil fuel production always brings. And we can’t get there on the freeways we built in the 1950’s.
That’s why I’m calling for a Green New Deal. We need a comprehensive plan to restore the infrastructure that brings our country together, and to do it sustainably, in a way that totally caps carbon emissions and sets our nation on track to consume only renewable energy by 2045. Doing so will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign countries, shore up our national security, and we know it will create jobs: today, California’s clean energy sector supports ten times the jobs that the entire nation’s coal industry does. A Green New Deal will make our country safer and more self-sufficient, and it will create jobs that cannot be outsourced.
I wrote SB 350, the law that requires fifty percent of the Golden State’s energy consumption must be renewable by 2030, and I stared down Big Oil to get it passed. Today, the landmark renewable energy commitments that I shepherded to safe passage have pushed California to meet that goal years in advance and created thousands of green jobs for hardworking Californians. Now, we're in the home stretch of passing a bill to commit California to 100% renewables by 2045. Those accomplishments, and the $5.4 billion we’ll invest in new infrastructure this decade are proof positive that environmental stewardship and astounding economic growth go hand in hand. We can build an economy that provides a fair shot at the dignity of a good-paying job for every working family, in a way ensures a cleaner, greener future for the next generation.
A Green New Deal can be more than a pie-in-the-sky ideal. With the right Congress, we can write it into reality.
- Kevin de León (@kdeleon)
"Eco-nomics" @GreenPolicy360, Greening the Economy
Sustainable Eco-nomics, Renewable Energy, Green Jobs, Protection of 'The Commons'