Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) have unveiled their Green New Deal resolution — a call to arms on climate and jobs that’s long on ambition, but lacking in details and a political path to becoming policy.
This marks the next phase for a movement that has risen quickly to play an outsized role in the climate policy conversation and influence the Democratic 2020 White House contest.
The non-binding resolution envisions a massively expanded federal role in emissions-cutting and economic intervention that takes its cues from World War II and New Deal-era programs:Details: Some of the resolution’s top-line goals include…
- Achieving net-zero U.S. greenhouse gas emissions through a “fair and just transition for all communities and workers” while creating millions of jobs.
- Decarbonizing all the major segments of the economy — power, manufacturing, buildings, transportation and more.
- Protections for indigenous people, communities of color, the poor and others under the heading of “frontline and vulnerable communities.
The many broad concepts in the resolution include “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” That phrasing seems to leave the door open to technologies that some activists oppose (such as fossil fuels with carbon capture and nuclear energy), but doesn’t name-check any of them.
It also calls for energy efficiency in “all existing buildings” and new buildings, too, as well as cutting emissions from transportation as much as technologically possible.
Note: That means retrofitting 39,179 buildings/housing units every day for 10 years straight. 137,403,460 housing units in U.S – Census Bureau (2017) 5.6 million commercial buildings in the U.S. (87 billion sq of floorspace) -Dept of Energy’s EIA (2012)
There’s no specific projected cost for what would be massive federal investments under the resolution.
The plan is silent on whether it would impose a carbon tax.