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If you've heard a lot about the Green New Deal recently but you're not sure yet, you're not alone. After all, he was introduced by his supporters as a way to avoid the destruction of the planet, and vilified by his opponents as a socialist plot to remove your ice. So it's a bit confusing. We are here to help you.
What is the Green New Deal?
The Green New Deal is a congressional resolution that sets out a big plan to fight climate change.
Presented 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 US from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse that are heating up on the planet. It also aims to secure new, high-paying jobs in the clean energy industries.
The resolution is non-binding, so even if Congress approves it, nothing in the proposal would become law.
The variants of the proposal have existed for years. Think tanks, the Green Party and even New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman all had plans to tackle climate change that they called Green New Deal. But after the mid-term elections of 2018, a group of young activists called the Sunrise Movement popularized its name by presenting a strategy and organizing a sit-in outside the office of Nancy Pelosi, future speaker of the House of Representatives, demanding actions on climate change. Mrs. Ocasio-Cortez joins the protesters, supporting their proposal and laying the groundwork for what will eventually become the joint resolution.
Will there be a vote on this?
Republicans have described the Green New Deal as a socialist takeover and said it was proof that Democrats were far from the mainstream in energy matters. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, plans to present the plan as early as next week. Democrats say the vote would be a stunt, as Republican Senate leaders do not want to have a sincere debate on climate change.
What problem does the Green New Deal attack?
The goal of the Green New Deal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change while trying to solve societal problems such as economic inequality and racial injustice.
The resolution uses as a guide two major reports published last year by the The United Nations and federal scientists have warned that if global temperatures continue to rise, the world is heading for heat waves, forest fires and more intense droughts. Research shows that the US economy could lose billions of dollars by the end of the century because of climate change. According to preliminary estimates, carbon emissions increase by 3.4% last year in the United States and 2.7% worldwide.
Proponents of the Green New Deal also believe that change can not be a mere technological feat and that they must also tackle poverty, income inequality and racial discrimination.
What are its main provisions?
You can read it here, but here are the essentials: It is said that the whole world must achieve clean net emissions by 2050 – which means that we should absorb as much carbon as what would be released into the atmosphere – and that the United States should absorb a "leading role" in achieving this goal.
The Green New Deal calls on the federal government to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create high-paying jobs, ensure that the quality of air, water and healthy food is fundamental rights and put an end to all forms of oppression.
To achieve these goals, the plan calls for the launch of a "10-year mobilization" aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the United States. It plans to provide 100% renewable and zero-emission electricity by digitizing the country's electricity grid, improving the energy efficiency of every building in the country, and modernizing the system. the country by investing in electric vehicles and advanced technologies. speed rail.
To solve the problem of social justice, the resolution states that it is the government's duty to provide vocational training and new economic development, particularly to those communities currently dependent on jobs in the fossil fuel industries.
What does not it say?
President Trump has claimed the Green New Deal Remove your "plane rights". Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, told Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host, that the proposal would confiscate cars and force Americans to "travel by high-speed tramway, supposedly fueled by tears. unicorn. And Senator John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican and Chair of the Committee on the Environment and Public Works, warned that ice creams, cheeseburgers and milkshakes would be a thing of the past because, as part of the Green New Deal, the cattle will be banned.
The resolution does not do any of those things.
Certainly, there is some confusion as to what the Green New Deal says and does not say. This is partly the fault of its sponsors, who spoiled the initial deployment of the resolution.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's office first sent reporters, but later, disavowed, an information sheet containing some controversial ideas, such as the guarantee of economic security, including for those who do not do not want to work.
The resolution calls on the federal government to invest in policies and projects that can change how we design buildings, travel and eat. For example: cows. To reduce methane, a potent greenhouse gas emitted by cows and other livestock, the resolution proposes "to work with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as technically as possible ".
The resolution itself also avoids approving or rejecting specific technologies or sources of energy, which, according to Mr. Markey, was done in order to encourage broader support for the plan.
What's the name?
The Green New Deal takes its name and inspiration from the government's major metamorphosis, known as the New Deal, launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help the United States recover from the Great Depression.
This series of public works and financial reform programs included the Civilian Conservation Corps (which required people to work manually, such as tree planting and trail building) and the creation of the Public Works Administration responsible for construction of bridges and dams. , schools and more.
Like the original New Deal, the Green Green New Deal is not a project nor a legislative text.
What are the costs?
It's not clear yet.
President Trump said it would cost $ 100 trillion. Proponents of the Green New Deal claim that climate change could be just as costly for the US economy. For now, it's impossible to encrypt the plan in dollars.
Some examples of why:
A conservative think tank felt that the federal government should bear the cost of Medicare for all $ 32 trillion over 10 years, but proponents said it would save taxpayers $ 2 trillion over 10 years.
Convert the country to 100% clean energy? In Vermont alone, whose goal is to produce 90% renewable energy by mid-century, the the cost is estimated at $ 33 billion. Yet, the state sees employment growth in the clean energy sectors and expects the transition to result in cost savings for consumers.
According to a 2011 study released by the Electric Power Research Institute, power grid modernization in the United States could cost up to $ 476 billion and generate profits of $ 2 trillion.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged that the Green New Deal would be expensive, but argues that the plan will pay for itself through economic growth.
Do critics propose alternative proposals?
Some Republicans have called for a technological solution to climate change, but so far no criticism has proposed an alternative to the size and scope of the Green New Deal.
How will the Green New Deal shape the debate?
There will be many more political maneuvers around the Green New Deal in the weeks and months to come. Republicans have already launched video ads to try to link Democrats to the proposal, which they described as "radical."
And McConnell's vote is aimed directly at making life more uncomfortable for Democratic presidential candidates such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris. These senators all co-sponsored the Green New Deal but sometimes avoided details. Ms. Klobuchar, for example, told CNN that she saw the Green New Deal as an "aspiration" and "an objective toward which we must move forward".
At the same time, all the attention given to the Green New Deal has put new pressure on Republican critics to develop their own plan to reduce greenhouse gases.
It is likely that the Green New Deal will remain a lightning rod throughout the 2020 presidential campaign.
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