Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) led the rollout of the first resolution laying the foundation for the Green New Deal. It is one of several unprecedented efforts demanding that the government take aggressive action in the face of climate change.
Though ideas for a Green New Deal have been kicking around for over a decade, Ocasio-Cortez catalyzed the framework after making it a cornerstone of her campaign. Defying skepticism that she would be able to pull centrist heavyweights on board, she introduced the proposal with wide party support just over a month after taking office. The nonbinding resolution included 64 House and nine Senate original co-Sponsors, including presidential hopefuls Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Despite a derisive response from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this consensus effectively cements the Green New Deal as a defining policy for the Democratic agenda.
The resolution is one of the strongest rebukes to President Trump, who boasted of deregulation and crowned the US the “number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world” during his State of the Union address this week. The preamble to the Green New Deal resolution starkly lays out the impacts of climate change in the US. Drawn from previous US and UN climate reports, the resolution restores the authority of the scientific community as the Trump administration scrubs climate data and prohibits the very mention of the term.
As a blueprint for collective action on climate change, the Green New Deal has attracted a great deal of enthusiasm and reserved support, with crucial details still to come. The proposal raised eyebrows with its ambitious 10-year plan to cut carbon emissions by 2030, transition to renewable energy sources, and invest heavily in job creation and infrastructure. It amounts to nothing…