Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Democrats Seek Green New Deal to Address Climate Change 7 February 2019

Democrats Seek Green New Deal to Address Climate Change 7 February 2019

Since arriving in Washington in January, Ocasio-Cortez has prioritized the implementation of a Green New Deal and, in her frequent media appearances, has emphasized its potential as a means to pursue "economic justice" while drastically reducing carbon emissions over the next decade.

The proposals launched on Thursday encompass investments to achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions in 10 years, shift industries away from fossil fuels, help those affected by the changes, and provide universal healthcare and other welfare.

Despite not being on the congressional panel, Ocasio-Cortez continues to say that the speaker supports her efforts to push forward the Green New Deal and other climate change initiatives. She said she also wants to hear from the new climate committee, which she said will "spearhead Democrats' work" on climate issues.

In an interview with NPR, Ocasio-Cortez justified the massive scope of the plan by saying: "Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us".

Even so, their Green New Deal goes far beyond the Clean Power Plan proposed by President Barack Obama.

"We welcome the enthusiasm that is there with the Green New Deal", Pelosi said Thursday at a news conference.

Although Pelosi has experience as speaker pushing climate change policies under previous administrations, more progressive members have questioned her eagerness to support an ambitious new climate proposal.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd questioned the freshman congresswoman about whether her brand of Democratic socialism can appeal outside of her deep blue NY district, before probing about whether the two-party system reflects the diverse viewpoints of the country.

Most of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Kamala Harris of California; Elizabeth Warren of MA; and Cory Booker of New Jersey have also broadly endorsed the idea behind the Green New Deal.

The panel will be chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, who was chosen in December.

The Democrats are likely to meet resistance to their proposal in Congress, especially in the Republican-controlled Senate.

She also cites Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society and the interstate highway system begun under Dwight D. Eisenhower as examples of American know-how and capability.

The last four years were the warmest on record, the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization said this week, linking the trend to greenhouse-gas emissions.

While Democrats did not specify a price tag, some Republicans predict it would cost in the trillions of dollars. There are specific flaws, too, including the neglect of nuclear power as a potentially important bridge between fossil fuels and the ideal of all-renewable energy. They denounced the plan at House hearings on climate change on Wednesday.

It was created to examine new climate change policies and does not have the sole objective of focusing on the Green New Deal, another complaint from the supporters of the proposal.

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