In recent years, much of the work to combat climate change and support the development of new clean energy has been taken on by states, communities, corporate leaders, and individuals. With release of a sweeping set of new federal policy proposals — the Green New Deal — that may change.
The Green New Deal has sparked a lot of conversation, debate, and interest around the nation. With details from the proposal finally released, we decided to dive in to help uncover what it really proposes, and how it could affect the clean energy industry.
A carbon-free electric grid
At it’s core, the Green New Deal aims to decarbonize the entire U.S. electric grid — transitioning us to 100% clean energy within 10 years. And it aims to do that within a new economic and social framework. Within the proposal to move towards 100% clean energy are policies aimed at boosting economic growth, agricultural sustainability, healthy food access, as well as healthcare and job security for all.
According to The Atlantic, “The Green New Deal aspires to cut U.S. carbon emissions fast enough to reach the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement’s most ambitious target: preventing the world from warming no more than 2.7 degrees (F) by 2100.”
Clean energy jobs
The Green New Deal also advocates support for workers transitioning from old fossil fuel industries into expanding, high-paying renewable energy industries. It seeks to “eliminate pollution…as much as is technologically feasible,” while supporting family farms and “universal access to healthy food.”
The sweeping policy platform proposes guaranteed jobs “with family-sustaining wage[s], adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security” for all Americans.
Gaining support and building momentum
The Green New Deal introduced in Congress this year was done so as a non-binding resolution, meaning that even if it passes, it wouldn’t itself create any new programs or spending. Instead, it is intended to affirm that these proposals are necessary and should be done in the coming years.
This movement has seen support from voters on both sides of the aisle. A poll conducted by researchers at George Mason and Yale Universities, which found that 81 percent of registered voters either strongly or somewhat supported the green new deal.
As we wait to find out what’s next for the Green New Deal, every person can choose to take action for themselves right now. Connecting to a local community solar program, supporting wind power through REC purchases, or simply opting to bike to work can help us all deliver on bigger sustainability goals. There are many ways you can contribute to the fight against climate change. The more responsibility we each take to act, the better off we’ll all be. There are many ways to make a better impact!