The concept of a Green New Deal is starting to gain traction within the US Democratic Party. The proposal, which aims to address both climate change and economic inequality, is being promoted by a group of progressive politicians, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While specifics of the plan vary, it generally calls for transitioning the country to 100% renewable energy in a decade, creating millions of jobs through green infrastructure investment, and providing a host of social benefits, such as unlimited healthcare and free education.
The movement draws inspiration from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which aimed to lift the country out of the Great Depression through government intervention in the economy. However, while the New Deal was focused primarily on economic recovery, the Green New Deal seeks to tackle the intertwined issues of climate change and economic inequality. Proponents hope that the proposal will energize and unite the Democratic Party, while also drawing attention to the urgency of the climate crisis.
Critics have argued that the proposal is too radical and costly, and that the ambitious goals are unrealistic. However, supporters argue that the high cost of inaction on climate change makes bold measures necessary. Additionally, they point out that the Green New Deal could offer long-term economic benefits by creating jobs in the clean energy sector, and reducing healthcare costs through preventative measures.
While the idea of a Green New Deal is still in its early stages, it has already garnered significant attention and support. In November 2018, a group of young activists led a sit-in at Nancy Pelosi’s office, calling for the incoming Democratic majority to support a Green New Deal. The movement has also been embraced by potential 2020 presidential candidates, such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. As the severity of the climate crisis becomes increasingly apparent, it seems likely that the Green New Deal will continue to gain momentum as a potential solution.