On Thursday, two Democratic members of Congress introduced a resolution outlining the broad strokes of a “Green New Deal,” an ambitious proposal to transition the U.S. toward a more sustainable, net-zero carbon emissions future—and to get it on track fast, within just ten years.
The need for change, the framers say, is pressing. Climate change is already strengthening the floods that course through U.S. cities, worsening heat waves, and sapping winters of their cold. And the changes are hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.
To put the country on track toward a more sustainable, equitable future, the resolution proposes a sweeping range of tactics to cut carbon emissions while also jumpstarting the economy—from transitioning to 100 percent zero-emission energy to upgrading key infrastructure with an eye toward an ever-warming future to “overhauling” the transportation network from coast to coast.
At this point, the Green New Deal resolution, introduced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Edward Markey (D-MA), contains the outline of a comprehensive plan rather than detailed policy proposals. And it is currently not very likely that the divided Congress would pass any version of the plan that came across its desks, or receive a signature from President Donald Trump. But the proposal has thrust the search for solutions to climate change into the national spotlight.