Today, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey released a non-binding resolution that would “recognize the duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal.” The phrase “Green New Deal” quickly trended on social media, and the resolution garnered support from dozens of Democratic members of Congress, including Democratic presidential candidates.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is encouraged that Green New Deal supporters have raised the urgency of climate change in the media and within the halls of Congress. “The Green New Deal has clearly infused energy and momentum into moving forward on climate solutions,” said CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds.
The resolution was covered early this morning by NPR, which reported, “In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal […] sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.”
CCL and our supporters understand the urgency of the climate crisis and agree that it requires big solutions. “The resolution from Senator Markey and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez calls for a swift transition away from fossil fuels, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby shares that important goal,” Reynolds said.
The UN’s IPCC report last fall made it clear that we must achieve rapid, deep emissions reductions in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We believe the recently introduced Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (H.R. 763) is a key component to achieving those emissions reductions. “The private sector can do much of the heavy lifting with this transition if it has the proper motivation, like a robust price on carbon,” Reynolds explained. With a divided Congress, CCL believes it’s also important to take steps toward a bipartisan climate solution. To that end, the Energy Innovation Act is led by Democrat Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Republican Francis Rooney (FL-19).
“A rising price on carbon pollution can go a long way toward achieving the deep decarbonization we need,” agreed Danny Richter, CCL VP for Government Affairs. “The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act currently in the House provides a strong incentive and would reduce carbon emissions at least 40 percent in the first 12 years and 90 percent by 2050.” These targets track closely with the recommendations from the IPCC report.
“It also benefits people by giving the revenue to households,” Richter added. Studies show returning carbon fee revenue as a regular dividend will financially benefit the majority of Americans. In particular, low- and middle-income people will be protected from cost increases by a monthly carbon dividend. (Learn more about how this climate change legislation works.)
With today’s news about the Green New Deal, it’s clear there is huge appetite among American people, and growing appetite in Congress, for bold climate solutions. “We are so grateful for the work these members of Congress and the outside groups supporting them have done to bring climate back to the top of the priority list for Congress,” said Stephanie Doyle, National Outreach and Partnership Coordinator for CCL. “Their passion and commitment are inspiring, and we look forward to working to achieve many of the goals in the resolution.”