Green New Deal News ~ February, 16

Every week at the Lab Report we’re collecting the latest news and info on developments with the Green New Deal. For more news right to your inbox, be sure to sign up for emails and updates below. Here’s the top Green New Deal news from the week:

#1: The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the Green New Deal

author: Naomi Klein source: The Intercept

Since the Green New Deal was announced last week Republicans have been quick to jump on the plan as creeping and explicit socialism. In this piece Naomi Klein argues that two versions of America will be presented to voters in 2020. One based on Trump’s fears of government intervention and an invasion by illegal immigrants, the other arguing that a strong government plan is the only way to stop climate change and battle growing inequality.

Back in October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a landmark report informing us that global emissions need to be slashed in half in less than 12 years, a target that simply cannot be met without the world’s largest economy playing a game-changing leadership role. If there is a new administration ready to leap into that role in January 2021, meeting those targets would still be extraordinarily difficult, but it would be technically possible — especially if large cities and states like California and New York escalate their ambitions right now. Losing another four years to a Republican or a corporate Democrat, and starting in 2026 is, quite simply, a joke.

So either Trump is right and the Green New Deal is a losing political issue, one he can smear out of existence. Or he is wrong and a candidate who makes the Green New Deal the centerpiece of their platform will take the Democratic primary and then kick Trump’s ass in the general, with a clear democratic mandate to introduce wartime-levels of investment to battle our triple crises from day one. That would very likely inspire the rest of the world to finally follow suit on bold climate policy, giving us all a fighting chance.

#2: Who Will Make The Green New Deal? Literally All Of Us

author: Robert Hockett   source: Forbes

Robert Hockett gets it. In this piece for Forbes magazine he paints a clear picture that at this point the Green New Deal is an empty canvas that

“Since it went public last Thursday, the House and Senate Green New Deal Resolution has drawn much excitement. And with some 70 U.S. Representatives, 10 or more Senators, and nearly all announced Democratic Presidential contenders signed on, its future looks quite bright already.

Accompanying all the excitement have been a few queries concerning the status of the Resolution in the fuller Green New Deal process, along with discussions about what the brief document’s broad statements of principle, hope and aspiration will entail.

The definitive reply to the latter discussions is easy: It’s up to you. And that is because of the answer to the first query, which is that the Green New Deal Resolution is simply the opening gavel of an extended national deliberation – a deliberation that includes literally all of us and starts now.”

#3: Why Sen. Mitch McConnell Is Going to Force a Vote on the Green New Deal

author: NATASHA BACH source: Fortune

In an effort of gamesmanship, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is threatening a vote on the Green New Deal in order to put Democrats on record.  

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning to hold a vote on the Green New Deal—but not because the Republican wants it to pass.

The joint resolution by Democrats was proposed last week by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey. They’ve offered a non-binding resolution intended to set the tone for legislation addressing climate change and economic inequality. It includes a range of goals such as a shift to renewable energy sources, carbon neutrality by 2030, and a federal jobs guarantee.

McConnell’s scheduling a vote is strategic, intended to leverage a lack of Democratic unity behind the Green New Deal as a means to tackle climate change.”

Green New Deal in the States

state & local news on the Green New Deal

#4: A “Green New Deal” Is Already Taking Shape at the State Level

author: Benjamin Storrow  source: Scientific American

As the dynamics of a Green New Deal are heating up in Washington, uncertainty remains if a framework can be forged. States are much more likely to be the key actors in any type of significant Green New Deal policies for the foreseeable future.    

the outlines of a carbon-free electric sector are already becoming apparent outside the nation’s capital. Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Washington state are all considering legislation this year to decarbonize their power sectors. With the exception of Minnesota, where Republicans control the Senate, those bills stand a reasonable chance of passing.

The states offer a potentially important blueprint for national climate hawks. Each bill proposes dramatic increases in renewable energy generation. Yet they also leave the door open to traditional low-carbon resources like nuclear and hydro, as well as potential new technologies.

“We plan to pursue a portfolio approach, where the most cost-effective resources that are zero carbon come forward,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.”

#5: Labor Council in San Diego On Board With the Green New Deal

author: Jim Miller source: On Beach California 92107

Support for The Green New Deal continues to grow in local communities across the country as well. This short snippet from San Diego shows just how rampant the Green New Deal’s appeal is.

“(m)any of the specific details of this type of program, such as the climate jobs guarantee, remain a work in progress and, as the young activists from the Sunrise Movement and their allies in Congress have made clear, they want to hear from unions.

In that spirit, the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council’s Environmental Caucus brought the following resolution to the entire Labor Council at the January meeting and it was overwhelmingly passed. Those of us in the local labor movement hope this resolution, the first of its kind from an American Labor Council, will serve as a touchstone to help spark and guide a larger discussion inside the American labor movement and elsewhere:”

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