Home World Green New Deal: Can this Democrat-driven plan really work?

Green New Deal: Can this Democrat-driven plan really work?

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey launch the Green New Deal

Although referred to as a "socialist manifesto", the Green New Deal (GND) on climate change and employment has sparked a heated debate in US policy. So, what's in the deal and what's expected to happen?

President Trump has quickly overpowered the Democrats' new approach to tackling rising temperatures.

In El Paso, he said the Green New Deal meant "taking the car and taking away the plane flights."

However, in its current form, the GND is more of a political statement than a set of proposals to punish US citizens.

Introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, the GND is a major overhaul of how economies should deal with the causes of climate change.

It is firmly and deliberately committed to repeating the past fame of the FDR and the economic New Deal of the 1930s.

US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he will take him to the Senate for a vote to be supported or demoted by the Democrats.

In this document, the GND calls for "a new level of national, social, industrial and economic mobilization on a scale unprecedented since World War II and the New Deal."

The plan is based on the recent warnings of scientists about the effects of a temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius on the earth in this century above the pre-industrial level.

Climate change would cost the US some $ 500 billion in lost economic output annually and damage billions in infrastructure.

By 2050, forest fires in the western states are likely to burn at least twice as much forest land as in the years prior to 2019.

Not only does the GND portray the potential damage that climate change can cause, it also links these threats to ongoing issues such as clean water, healthy diet, adequate health care, and education that are inaccessible to a significant portion of the United States population ,

To address these challenges, the document proposes a series of radical steps.

The biggest headline is the decade-long decarbonization of the US economy. This would be incredibly difficult to achieve without a major technological advance.

The United Kingdom, which has a law on climate change in the law for a decade, is considering strengthening its target of achieving a zero-zero emissions target by 2050.

This is a major challenge and would likely require the compensation of ongoing emissions, particularly by trucking and aviation. The EU also has a net zero emissions plan by 2050.

Some small island states or countries like Costa Rica can decarbonate faster.

I think the US will have a hard time getting close to net zero at all times without making big trade-offs from planting trees or using techniques like these to capture CO2.

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A dam in Costa Rica, one of the cleanest countries in the world

The New Green Deal also calls for the modernization of all existing and new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency. Transport needs to be revised to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

However, it goes well beyond climate change issues and urges the government "to guarantee a job with family-friendly wages, decent family and sick leave, paid leave and retirement provision for all people in the United States".

The need to help 'frontline and vulnerable communities' working in greenhouse gas-intensive industries to achieve greener jobs is also seen as a key priority.

Many observers believe that the program is ambitious but is not a practical plan to tackle climate change.

"I'm afraid I just can not see how we could possibly become carbon-free over the next decade," said former US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, speaking with NPR.

"This is simply impractical, and if we set unpractical targets, we can lose many of the important constituencies we need to bring along to achieve a truly low-carbon solution for the fastest timeframe we can achieve."

Besides problems regarding the feasibility of the plan, there are also political problems.

While the project is supported by the more left-leaning House and Senate Democrats, Nancy Pelosi's spokeswoman was initially less enthusiastic.

"It will be one of several or perhaps many suggestions we receive," she said. "The green dream or whatever he calls it, nobody knows what it is, but they are for it, right?"

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In many countries, young people protested about inaction against climate change in protest

Republicans were corrosive when dismissed.

"I want them to push it as far as possible, I'd like to see it on the ground, I'd like them to vote on it," said Idaho-born Republican Mike Simpson.

"It's crazy, it's crazy," he told Politico.

Many commentators believe that the Green New Deal is sharpening the cleavage between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of climate change, allowing the president to make all sorts of unfounded comments on the potential impact on Americans.

It would be a mistake, however, to see the plan as a utopian pipe dream designed to drain the Republicans.

Surveys in the US show that concerns about climate issues have never been so high.

There is also a growing global movement, led mainly by young people, for whom the Green New Deal is exactly the kind of action that they believe is urgently needed. Many scientists have the same feeling.

Congressman Ocasio-Cortez has shown in her short time in politics that she is an impressive operator and should not be underestimated.

Despite the contempt of Presidents and Republicans, the GND has sparked a serious debate that could potentially advance legislation on climate change that may require broader support in due course.

"This is an exercise on the agenda," said Sarah Ladislaw of the Center for Strategic and International Studies to BBC News.

"It basically identifies two fundamental issues – economic insecurity / inequality and climate change – there are many ways to solve those issues that cover the ideological spectrum, and hopefully the debate will be about which combination of policy approaches will come next."


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