Spotlight: Green New Deal
We’re breaking down the Green New Deal: What it is, what it’s not, and how we can all come together to combat global climate change.
In November 2019, President Trump officially announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement — making the United States the only country to exit.
Trump made the decision against the backdrop of ever-rising sea levels and record global temperatures, and as more than 11,000 climate scientists declared a “climate emergency,” warning of “untold suffering” should we fail to act.
Kirsten believes global climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today — and that passing a Green New Deal is this generation’s moonshot.
In this week’s Off the Sidelines Spotlight, we’re breaking down the Green New Deal: What it is, what it’s not, and how we can all come together to combat global climate change.
What is the Green New Deal? The Green New Deal is an ambitious framework to save our planet by investing in infrastructure, creating a green jobs economy, and protecting clean air and water.
Is the Green New Deal a bill? No. In its current form, the Green New Deal is a fourteen-page resolution that proposes actions Congress could take to avoid the worst consequences of global climate change.
Why is the Green New Deal so polarizing? There’s a lot of fear-mongering about the Green New Deal and its impact; in reality, it’s an effort to grow domestic manufacturing, keep jobs from going overseas, and position the United States as a global economic leader.
In fact, Kirsten believes its key tenets could garner bipartisan support. At its core, the Green New Deal calls for:
- Investing in infrastructure: Allocating money to mass-transit, electric grids, roads, bridges, rural water supply, and more.
- Job training: Creating high-paying jobs in wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, and biofuels, while supporting displaced workers.
- Clean air and clean water: Protecting all communities, particularly the lower-income and marginalized communities most impacted by climate change.
LISTEN | Ezra Klein’s podcast interview with Varshini Prakash, co-founder of Sunrise Movement, explores coming of age in the climate crisis and making the Green New Deal a household name
WATCH | Vox explains why most Americans still don’t understand the Green New Deal
READ | Teen Vogue interviews actress and longtime activist Jane Fonda, who moved to Washington, D.C. to fight for meaningful action on climate change
FOLLOW | These young climate activists from around the world are must-follows on social media
READ | Roxane Gay and Mary Robinson explain why feminism is key to achieving climate justice
WATCH | The Netflix documentary Our Planet is half Planet Earth, half An Inconvenient Truth, exploring the ways climate change impacts the natural world
The exit timeline for the Paris Climate Agreement means that the U.S. can officially leave the agreement on November 4, 2020 — one day after the 2020 elections. While it’s absolutely critical that we make our voices heard at the ballot box, there’s plenty of work we can do now.
1. Call on Mitch McConnell to allow for a meaningful Senate debate on climate change — including the Green New Deal — NOW.
Kirsten has cosponsored a number of bills that would mitigate the effects of climate change, including:
- The International Climate Accountability Act, which would keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement
- The American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act, which would set a price on carbon emissions
- The Zero Emission Vehicles Act, which sets standards to transition to zero-emission vehicles and requires all newly manufactured vehicles to be at zero emissions by 2040
- The Green New Deal Resolution
2. Encourage elected officials and candidates to sign the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge”: I pledge not take contributions of over $200 from oil, gas and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs, and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.
- Discover which elected officials and candidates have already signed the pledge.
- Check out this toolkit, which covers how you can get candidates to sign the pledge.
3. Get to know some of the incredible organizations fighting global climate change now:
- Citizens’ Climate Lobby has 400+ chapters across the country, building coalitions that focus on climate change solutions
- League of Conservation Voters is tracking 2020 presidential candidates on their climate stances
- Mothers Out Front is a community of mothers, grandmothers and caregivers coming together to fight climate change — visit their action center for ways to get more involved
- National Resources Defense Council is focused on cutting fossil fuel pollution and implementing practical clean energy solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change
- Sunrise Movement has “hubs” throughout the country where you can take action within your community