Truthout - August 22, 2019

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the United States and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday unveiled a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of America — and really, in the history of humanity,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement.

“When we are in the White House,” said the Vermont senator, “we will launch the decade of the Green New Deal, a 10-year mobilization to avert climate catastrophe during which climate change, justice, and equity will be factored into virtually every area of policy, from immigration to trade to foreign policy and beyond.”

Sanders’ plan for an aggressive 10-year mobilization to combat the climate emergency comes amid warnings from the international scientific community that global greenhouse gas emissions must be slashed in half by 2030 to avert planetary catastrophe.

Across the world, Sanders noted on his website, there is an overwhelming abundance of evidence testifying to the severity of the climate crisis and the urgent need for bold action.

“The Amazon rainforest is burning, Greenland’s ice shelf is melting, and the Arctic is on fire,” Sanders wrote. “People across the country and the world are already experiencing the deadly consequences of our climate crisis, as extreme weather events like heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, and hurricanes upend entire communities, ecosystems, economies, and ways of life, as well as endanger millions of lives.”

To confront the emergency, Sanders’ Green New Deal plan would:

  • Reach “100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by at least 2050”;
  • Invest $16.3 trillion in creating 20 million jobs, developing sustainable infrastructure, and supporting vulnerable frontline communities;
  • Assist international efforts to reduce carbon emissions by providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund and rejoining the Paris climate accord;
  • Ban fracking, mountaintop removal coal mining, and imports and exports of fossil fuels;
  • “Prosecute and sue the fossil fuel industry for the damage it has caused”; and
  • Ensure a fair and just transition for workers currently employed by the fossil fuel industry.

According to the Sanders campaign, the senator’s plan would “pay for itself over 15 years” by forcing the fossil fuel industry to “pay for their pollution,” eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, slashing military spending that is dedicated to “maintaining global oil dependence,” raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and more.

Read the full text of the campaign’s Green New Deal plan here. ...

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