The boldness and urgency of a proposed Green New Deal has shaken Washington’s longstanding “inside the beltway” climate change inertia. The plan is backed by the Sunrise Movement and has garnered the support of new members of Congress like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
The Green New Deal sets an ambitious course to make the U.S. economy greenhouse gas-emission neutral, while prioritizing a just transition for workers and communities by 2030. Its emphasis on equity and locally-driven climate change responses echo principles that more than 20 rural-based climate policy organizations identified in 2015.
Those groups agreed that to meet the urgency of the climate challenge, new U.S. policy must be:
• Resilient: “Policy solutions need to focus on increasing the resiliency of our communities, economy, and the natural systems they depend on. We must prioritize climate responses that minimize emissions and community risk.”
• Equitable: “Policies must be constructed and delivered in ways that recognize historical and ongoing discrimination, and work to reduce—not increase—current and long-standing economic, racial, cultural, gender and other forms of inequality.”