US democratic congresswoman for New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and senator for Massachusetts Edward Markey have launched a resolution for a “Green New Deal” in the House of Representatives.

The non-binding resolution titled Recognising the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal states that intervention from the Federal government is needed to ensure global warming does not exceed two degrees Celsius.

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The resolution asserts that if temperatures do exceed two degrees it will cost the US $500bn in economic output by 2100, along with $1tn in damage to infrastructure and coastal real estate.

To combat this, the resolution suggests that the government enact a “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gases by having 100% renewable and zero-emission energy sources. The resolution covers many aspects of the US system, including zero-emission vehicles and assisting industries and agriculture to adopt sustainable forms of labour.

The resolution also calls for job creation, to support communities that may be affected by the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and for the public to “receive appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment”. Unions would also be strengthened by the deal, and businesses would be “free from unfair competition and domination by domestic and international monopolies”.

Responses to the Green New Deal

In a statement announcing the resolution Ocasio-Cortez said: “Today is also the day that we choose to assert ourselves as a global leader in transitioning to 100% renewable energy and charting that path […] We should do it because we are an example to the world.”

Senator for Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren tweeted her support, saying: “I’m excited to join @AOC and @EdMarkey to introduce the #GreenNewDeal. Climate change is real, it threatens all of us, & we have no time to waste to address it head-on.”

Criticising the proposal, Republican Senator for Wyoming John Barrasso said: “The Green New Deal is a raw deal for the American taxpayer. It’s a socialist manifesto that lays out a laundry list of government giveaways, including guaranteed food, housing, college, and economic security even for those who refuse to work.

“I want to make American energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising costs for consumers. We can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by supporting new innovative technologies like advanced nuclear power, carbon capture, and carbon utilization. Innovation, not regulation, will lead to lower emissions and a stronger economy.”

In an interview with Politico, democrat house leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed it as: “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”

As a non-binding resolution it does not create any of the programs it suggests, but instead strongly petitions that they should be created in the future. Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal makes the first steps to her fulfilling her campaign promise to pursue renewable energy, and tackle climate change.