Every day, our society is impacted by issues like climate change, the exploitation of individuals, gender and racial inequality, fossil fuels and much more. The Green New Deal, originally introduced in 2008 by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, could potentially solve all these issues and beyond.
You might be wondering, what is The Green New Deal exactly? Why is it so controversial? Though you have probably heard mixed opinions and definitions all over the internet, it’s much more than a Climate Proposal.
In essence, The Green New Deal is meant create jobs in environmentally-friendly industries while simultaneously improving the world’s economy and climate change.
Sponsored by Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts, The Green New Deal has been extensively brought up throughout the internet and social media recently and its hopeful prospects are supported by many throughout the nation. Politicians like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kristen Gillibrand are only some who have endorsed this movement. In addition, it is slowly becoming a deciding factor for many of the 2020 Democratic Party candidates.
There are also many who are critiquing this document, identifying it as “a call for enviro-socialism in America,” according to The New York Times. For instance, CNN argues that this proposal “isn’t a simple fix for what ails the US. It would equal taking American society back to the drawing board and rebuilding it from the safety net up.”
Rather than discussing the carbon tax and presenting a solution to ameliorate the world’s atmospheric carbon levels and climate change, The Green New Deal heavily focuses on social issues; hence, critics are arguing that it “[embraces] a left-populist agenda that includes universal health care, stronger labor rights and a jobs guarantee.”
In response to critics, an article by The New York Times explains that “In the 21st Century, environmental policy is economic policy. Keeping the two separate isn’t a feat of intellectual discipline. It’s an anachronism.”
Truly, The Green New Deal has the potential to amend many of our country’s most pressing issues. Although critics’ arguments are valid and plausible, it is pertinent that we, as a nation, start somewhere. Of course, not all our problems will be solved immediately, but at least The Green New Deal has the potential to do so.