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Biden’s new infrastructure plan vs the historical Green New Deal

Last month, US President Joe Biden announced his $2 trillion investment package, pledging to combat climate change and create new jobs in the process. The Republicans called the “Green New Deal” but only took into account some elements of the GND, a resolution from the congress which sets out a major strategy to deal with climate change. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the US Congress who has championed the Green New Deal and presented the first measures two years ago, slammed Biden’s initiative, arguing it is “not enough.” Though she applauded the GND’s plans, she told NPR that more funding is needed to fight climate change. The most recent edition of her GND is set to be reintroduced in the US Congress this week, with a broader reach that includes lead in city water and waste in low-income countries.
History of the Green New Deal
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced a New Deal in response to the Great Depression which included social and economic reforms and public works programs. Inspired by its response to climate change, the GND advocates for government policies, increased spending in renewable and resource-efficient resources, the combination of the Roosevelt-based approach to employment creation and economic disparity. GND was central to Jill Stein’s Green Party presidential campaign in 2016 and has been a part of the US Green Party platform for more than a decade. A GND was also part of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign. Democrats acknowledged climate change but did not have a specific plan to deal with it. The Sunrise Movement, an advocacy organization, staged a sit-in in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in November 2018, urging a legislative commission to solve the environmental crisis. After that, a coalition of Democrats collaborated with Sunrise on a call for a Select Committee on a Green New Deal. The 14-page resolution for the Green New Deal was issued by Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey in February 2019.
Green New Deal’s Objectives
The Green New Deal is now a resolution: a blueprint for the US’s efforts to tackle climate change and prevent a global disaster. The strategy for policy improvements is best represented. The resolution says that America must play a major role in reducing pollution, the key aim is to decrease America’s emissions of greenhouse gasses to net-zero by 2030 along with the creation of housing, affordable health coverage, strong minimum wages, and public transport integration. The main objective is to decarbonize the economy by reducing carbon emissions to a net level of zero emissions by transitioning to 100% clean energy. This includes upgrades to the public transit network, which include more hybrid buses and investments in densifying the network. The aim is probably to prohibit the selling of gasoline and diesel by 2030.
Biden infrastructure plan: How he plans to get it through Congress
According to reports, 40% of the country’s annual carbon emissions are produced in US buildings. Proposals seek to reduce emissions through the introduction of a zero-carbon standard for new construction and funds to refurbish existing natural gas-dependent buildings for heating and cooling purposes. The fossil fuel industry employs a large number of people, and restructuring it would result in job losses, particularly in rural areas. This is why, if every new contract seeks to change the economy and public sector by providing opportunities for the lower and middle classes, job growth must be at its heart. That will entail trillion-dollar investments and government employment promises. These jobs would also allow voters to recognize climate change and take action to help the environment, making the GND a game-changing economic strategy. The GND needs to ensure that no one is left behind because it can include protections for low-income families, persons of colour, and indigenous peoples who have been disproportionately affected by historical discrimination.
Supporters of GND
Over 100 members of Congress back the GND, as do many US senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as world leaders including the former US Vice President Al Gore and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The bill’s co-sponsors included Vice President Kamala Harris. Talking about climate change organizations, GND has found wide support. More than 600 organizations wrote in January 2019 to the US Congress asking for greenhouse reduction policies. In 40 United States countries, over 300 local elected officials have written in support of the Green New Deal. A poll data was published by the Yale Climate Change Communication Program, which said that GND has high two-way support amongst voters.
Criticisms against GND
Republicans argue that the proposal will devastate the economy and lead to rising in taxes because of the massive employment losses in fossil fuel companies. More pragmatic analysts contend that the 2030 objective is too ambitious and that 2045 or 2050 will be more practical. Even though the plan was financed by both Republicans and Democrats, there are still questions about it. It is doubtful that the plan will pass in either house without a concrete financing or investment policy especially as the Democrats are in both houses with a small majority. Ocasio-Cortez said in CBS’ 60 minutes that to contribute to the GND and to have tax rates of up to 60%-70%, people will have to begin paying their fair contribution in their taxes.
Green New Deal vs. Biden
Biden said during the first US Presidential Debate in 2020 that he does not favour the GND, but that the GND will pay for itself in his climate change strategy. If the GND hasn’t given a cost estimate, it’s expected to be considerably more than Biden’s $2 trillion investment plan. The budget will be spread out over eight years, and Biden’s proposal includes tax hikes, especially on multinational corporations, over a 15-year period to cover the costs. As in the GND, the Biden Initiative will drive progress against climate change through the adoption of sustainable and safer sources of energy and encourage economic race equality. It will also enhance broadband, drinking water, and travel times. Biden’s strategy aims at achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, compared to 2030 by the GND. The goal of the draft law is to start the Climate Conservation Corps to protect public lands and to increase the US market in electric vehicles.

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