Green New Deal News ~ March 1st

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 Green New Deal is more feasible than you think

In this piece from Popular Science, Ula Chrobak lays out a strong case of the right energy mix that could make a Green New Deal feasible:

author: Ula Chrobak  source: Popular Science

There’s no question that we need fast and far-reaching action to curb our emissions if we’re to stop the catastrophic effects of impending climate change. That’s why a number of policies—at local, state and national levels—are advancing new goals to meet our energy demands from clean and renewable sources.

The Green New Deal, a resolution introduced by Congress members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey, is the most recent national proposal to transform our energy system. As part of its 10-year plan, the text includes the goal of “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including— (i) by dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources; and (ii) by deploying new capacity.” It’s an ambitious target that some have called politically or economically infeasible, but the idea is not new. In fact, scientists have been exploring roadmaps for a carbon-neutral near-future for at least a decade. Most of the technological means are already here. Now it’s a matter of how to achieve our carbon-cutting goals.” (read more)

#2: The Green New Deal is already changing the terms of the climate action debate

Long the silent political stepchild, climate change has taken a back seat to other issues for r of the economic disruption that seriously addressing the issue would cause. Rebecca Willis makes a clear case how the Green New Deal has already served to reframe the debate around climate change for the better:

author: Rebecca Willis source: The Conversation

What a splendid irony it would be if the enduring legacy of Donald Trump’s presidency was the Green New Deal – a radical, government-directed plan to transition the US to a socially just society with a zero-carbon economy.Of course, it isn’t Trump’s idea. The Green New Deal was first proposed a decade ago, but has only recently captured the public imagination. Environmental activists from the “Sunrise Movement” protested in the office of House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, on November 13 2018, demanding the deal. And they were joined by recently elected congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has argued passionately on behalf of the plan ever since.Still, it’s partly thanks to Trump and the shock of his election that radical ideas are getting a hearing and his opponents are being forced to think bold. That’s just what is needed if the world is to get serious about tackling climate change.”

#3: What Would the Green New Deal Mean for Businesses?

As the Green New Deal continues to make political waves across the country, experts are digging in and trying to determine the economic and social costs of such an ambitious goal. The Harvard Business Review ads some well-reasoned levity and perspective on the economics of a Green New Deal on the business community:

authors: Sanya Carley David Konisky source:

To successfully implement the climate change mitigation goals of the Green New Deal — which includes ultimately achieving net- zero greenhouse gas emissions — the United States would need to deploy cleaner energy technologies, invest in energy innovation, and eventually convert the transportation sector to an electric mode of operation. These changes would help displace incumbent fossil fuels — coal in the near term, and oil and natural gas in the decades that follow.

In our opinion, given the urgency of climate change, and the disproportionate role that the United States has contributed to the problem, the goals of the Green New Deal are laudable. There is, however, a cost to such a transition. In our research over the past several years, we have analyzed ways in which the energy transition can produce adverse consequences, and worked to identify which communities are most vulnerable, and why. We have found that moving toward cleaner energy sources will continue to disproportionately affect communities whose economies and public finances rely on the extraction and use of fossil fuels. In Appalachia and other coal-mining regions, a further decline in production will lead to additional job losses, tax revenue erosion, and otherwise weakened socioeconomic conditions. Communities hosting coal-fired power plant operations may be similarly affected. A transition to cleaner sources of energy may also result in increased prices to power homes and transportation, which will place further financial burdens on households that spend a higher share of their income on energy. Finally, some communities will be excluded from the benefits of clean energy jobs due to a mismatch of skills and a lack of training opportunities, as well as access to new, efficient, and low-carbon energy technologies due to a lack of affordability or access.”

#4: What’s in the Green New Deal? Four key issues to understand

Science, costs and benefits, ethics and morality, and of course politics are at heart of decision making on Green New Deal.

Author: Dana Nuccitelli    source:

“In the few weeks since it was introduced as a non-binding resolution before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Green New Deal (GND) Resolution has generated more discussion and coverage of climate change – positive and negative – among, by, and aimed at policymakers than we’ve seen in more than a decade.

The nonbinding initiative introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Edward Markey (D-MA) proposes embarking on a 10-year mobilization aimed at achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions from the United States. The mobilization would entail a massive overhaul of American electricity, transportation, and building infrastructure to replace fossil fuels and improve energy efficiency, leading some to call it unrealistic, idealistic, politically impossible, and ‘socialistic.’ “

#5: The Green New Deal’s Supporters Should Take a Crucial Lesson From FDR’s Original New Deal

FDR’s original New Deal programs are some of the cornerstones of our current democracy. However, some of these programs also layed the foundations of current economic inequalities that tend to lay along racial lines as well. What the GND call for, and the authors reinforce, is that proponents of the Green New Deal should look to the results and consequences of New Deal programs as the work towards greater environmental and economic justice.

author:  ANDREA FLYNN and SUSAN R. HOLMBERG source:

“When a group of young Green New Deal supporters engaged Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday in a headline-making confrontation about the ambitious economic and environmental plan, they had one main retort to her skepticism about the program’s feasibility: for a massive problem like climate change, they argued, a massive fix is needed.

The program’s expansiveness is one of the points on which critics of the plan are quick to seize. But it is the very breadth and depth of the Green New Deal that could not only allow it to restore the vanishing American middle class and sustainably transform the nation’s way of life, but also to succeed in one area where the New Deal of seven decades ago failed — by intentionally including those who have been historically excluded.”

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