Note — Feb 10, 2019

The Green New Deal: Ocasio-Cortez and Markey Introduce Resolution

David Roberts (@drvox) with a detailed deconstruction of the proposed Green New Deal resolution that was introduced last week. Goes over the big priorities (justice and investment), the fights it smartly avoids (carbon pricing being one), some policies it avoids, and “aspirational illusions” it includes. A very long shot but imagine if enough progressives were elected next year, and some version of this passed. Potential global game changer.

Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle. It is bold and unmistakably progressive, matched to the problem as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while avoiding a few needless fights and leaving room for plenty of debate over priorities and policy tools. […]

The goals — achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, providing for a just transition, securing clean air and water — are broadly popular. The projects — things like decarbonizing electricity, transportation, and industry, restoring ecosystems, upgrading buildings and electricity grids — are necessary and sensible (if also extremely ambitious). […]

Creating dense urban areas with ample public spaces and multimodal transportation options — deprioritizing private automobiles and reducing overall automobile traffic — serves multiple progressive goals. […]

But take a step back and appreciate: The progressive movement has, in rather short order, thrust into mainstream US politics a program to address climate change that is wildly more ambitious than anything the Democratic Party was talking about even two years ago. One hundred percent clean energy, investment in new jobs, and a just transition have gone from activist dreams to the core of the Democratic agenda in the blink of a political eye. There’s a long way to go, but the GND train has come farther, faster than anyone could have predicted.