The term ‘Green New Deal’ goes back more than ten years, with the basic idea of increasing green initiatives that will combat climate change and address economic inequality. Proposed measures would stimulate the economy with shifts away from dirty coal and toward clean, renewable energy. The Green New Deal has been in the news a lot recently, with newly elected U.S. Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, being the most vocal advocate. Much of the debate around it has drifted into what it will cost and who is going to pay for it, rather than the intended purpose of the proposed stimulus program -- here we’re going to discuss a bit about why .
Something that has sparked the need for a green stimulus is that US carbon emissions rose by 3.4% in 2018, the first rise in years and the US is falling behind on its 2025 greenhouse emissions goal. The Green New Deal would rapidly expedite process to a green and sustainable economy.
Supporters of the Green New Deal believe that drastic measures need to be taken now in order to slow the impacts of climate change. A recent report on from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that we only have 20 years before there’s no turning back. The Green New Deal calls for the United States to invest resources in making all electric supply in the country come from 100% renewable sources. Many cities across the US have already taken it upon themselves to commit to 100% renewable energy. The Sierra Club is tracking commitments, as well as when each city has committed to going fully renewable.
While the commitment of individual cities is great, policymakers at the federal and state level will need to demand a renewable shift as well in order to reach the goals of the Green New Deal. More than just combating climate change, stimulus for energy efficiency and renewable energy creates jobs, over 2 million Americans are already working in energy efficiency.
The pressure to take action on climate change is mostly on the state and federal governments to create policies, regulations, and tax incentives that will drive these initiatives, there is still work that can be done by individuals to help. Energy efficiency is the simplest and easiest way to help, using less energy to reduce energy demand that alleviates the need for more generation.