Lawmakers Introduce Green New Deal Resolution
Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) joined Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and 10 of her Senate colleagues on Feb. 8, 2019, in unveiling a bicameral Green New Deal resolution that calls for aggressive action to combat climate change by creating high-paying jobs, prioritizing environmental health and wellness in a way that allows communities, families and individuals to thrive.
Senate co-sponsors of the Green New Deal resolution include Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
A copy of the resolution can be accessed here.
“From committing to 100% renewable energy, to embracing a carbon neutral economy, Hawai‘i has taken aggressive action to combat climate change because of the threat it poses to our way of life,” said Sen. Hirono. “Confronting the challenge of climate change requires a comprehensive approach to transforming our country in a way that prioritizes environmental health and wellness, while also expanding opportunity and creating good-paying jobs as we transition to a low carbon economy. I welcome this bold national framework that tracks so closely to what Hawai‘i is already doing and what many of us have long advocated to enable communities, families and individuals to thrive.”
“The sun is setting on the dirty energy of the past,”said Sen. Markey, co-chair of the Senate Climate Task Force. “Today marks the dawn of a new era of climate action. A Green New Deal is about jobs and it is about justice. It would be the greatest blue-collar jobs program in a generation and repair the historic oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities that have born the worst burdens of our fossil fuel economy, all while saving the planet. Our Green New Deal resolution outlines an historic 10-year mobilization that will mitigate climate emissions and build climate resiliency. We can create high-quality jobs and enforce labor standards, guarantee rights to retirement security and healthcare and conduct inclusive decision making in this Green New Deal. I thank Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for her partnership and leadership on this resolution, and I look forward to elevating the issue of climate change as the highest of Congressional priorities.”
“There is an imperative to curb carbon pollution to save our way of life—and there is an opportunity in this transition that we can’t afford to miss,” said Sen. Merkley. “For too long, we have seen inequality soar, social injustices fester, worker protections and labor unions erode and wages stagnate. As the rich and privileged consolidate power, our communities struggle for clean, safe water, to access quality health care, to afford education, and to recover from more common and powerful natural disasters. We must fundamentally change our economy to support workers, communities that have long been denied economic opportunity, and our rural economies that have been left behind.”
“Climate change is real, it threatens us and the evidence is now irrefutable that if we don’t act immediately to stop it, then our land, our water, our air, and our lives will all be upended in potentially catastrophic ways,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “There will be no going back. I urge my colleagues: Rise to this challenge, prevent the catastrophe and pass a Green New Deal that protects and strengthens our country in this new, uncertain era. We can end the climate change crisis, we can dramatically modernize our economy, and we can create countless new jobs across the entire country that can’t be shipped overseas—but we can only do it if Congress seizes this opportunity and acts now, instead of wasting more time arguing about whether or not the problem is even real. We cannot wait another day. I urge all of my colleagues to fight with me for a Green New Deal that puts Americans to work to solve this extraordinary challenge.”
“Climate change is an existential threat, and we must deal with the reality of it,” said Sen. Harris. “We must radically shift the conversation on how to address the climate crisis we are facing because we are running out of time to act. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this bold Green New Deal resolution and look forward to working with my colleagues to craft policies to protect our environment, create jobs to fuel a clean economy and build a sustainable and equitable future.”
“If we want to live in a world with clean air and water, we have to take real action to combat climate change now,” said Sen. Warren. “I’m proud to join Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on a Green New Deal resolution to fight for our planet and our kids’ futures.”
“The climate crisis cannot be ignored,” said Sen. Wyden. “It’s here, it’s happening, and it’s impacts are already devastating communities. The Green New Deal resolution sends a powerful message that it’s time for Congress to kick America’s carbon habit. A failure to act spells dire consequences for the health and safety of our families, our economy and the future of our planet.”
“Climate change is an existential crisis,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “This resolution affirms our commitment to developing a long overdue, comprehensive plan to tackle the devastating effects of climate change, create thousands of high-paying jobs in the renewable energy sector, and address the disparities in communities disproportionately affected by pollution. As the fuel cell capitol of the United States, Connecticut has always been a leader in the development of long-term energy sources that help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It is past time for the federal government to step up and follow suit.”
“Climate change is a pressing and serious environmental and economic crisis that threatens the way of life for our kids and grandkids,” said Sen. Booker. “This challenge must be met with a commitment from the federal government that is commensurate with the level of commitment we saw in this country during the original New Deal. And that’s exactly the type of determination this proposal brings. Communities of color, low income communities, indigenous communities and our family farmers are on the front lines of climate change, and I’m particularly encouraged that this blueprint addresses climate change in a way that promotes both economic and environmental justice.”
“Climate change is the most pressing problem facing our generation,” said Sen. Murphy. “It is already posing a security threat to our nation and we are feeling its impacts in real time. We need bold ideas if we’re going to rise to meet this challenge. I’m proud to join Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio Cortez as an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal.”
“Investing in clean green energy is our future,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “We must do it for our climate and we must lead in the world.”
The Green New Deal Resolution lays out the goals and projects for a 10-year national mobilization to:
- build resiliency against climate change-related disasters;
- repair and upgrade U.S. infrastructure;
- meet 100 percent of our power demand through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources;
- build or upgrade to energy-efficient, distributed and “smart” power grids;
- upgrade all existing U.S. buildings and build new buildings, to achieve maximum energy efficiency;
- spur massive growth in clean U.S. manufacturing and remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry;
- work with farmers and ranchers to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector;
- overhaul U.S. transportation systems;
- remove greenhouse gases and reduce pollution, including by restoring our natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions;
- restore and protect threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems;
- clean up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
- make the United States the international leader on climate action and help other countries achieve a Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal outlines the principles and requirements to guide this mobilization, including ensuring democratic processes and a fair and just transition for all workers. It also includes the goals of guaranteeing that all members of society can have a job with a family-sustaining wage and are provided with high-quality healthcare; affordable, safe, and adequate housing; economic security; and access to a clean environment.
Organizations endorsing the legislation include Sierra Club, SEIU 1199, 32BJ, Sunrise, Justice Democrats, Working Families Party, People’s Action, Center for Popular Democracy, Justice First, Dream Corps / Green For All, 350.org, CREDO Action, Indivisible, Demos, Honor the Earth, Labor Network for Sustainability, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Organic Consumers Association, Presente.org, and League of Conservation Voters (LCV).