Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) released an outline for the Green New Deal earlier this year, and ever since, there have been a variety of mixed opinions. Her goal to have America operate on 100% clean and renewable energy definitely caught the attention of many. And as sustainability becomes an increasingly important topic, proposals like hers are what many want to get behind.
But the question becomes: “How realistic would such a proposal be?” To determine this, it’s important to understand what her proposal entails.
What is AOC’s Green New Deal Resolution?
In general, AOC’s Green New Deal aims to tackle a lot of really crucial problems. Broadly, AOC hopes to challenge climate change, work with farmers to “eliminate greenhouse gas emissions”, and provide universal access to healthy food. In short, AOC wants us to be aware of environmental change, and propose a set of actionable steps to take.
Who’s Supporting the Green New Deal?
To date, AOC’s proposal lists 91 House co-sponsors and 12 Senate co-sponsors as its supporters. On the Democratic side, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are just two of the prominent figures who support the proposal.
As we near 2020, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren will only clarify their platforms. But without a shadow of doubt, their support for the Green New Deal will be reflected in their policy proposals.
The Green New Deal is a bold plan to shift our country to 100% clean and renewable energy. We do not fight this fight for our generation alone but for generations to come.https://t.co/Mzi2Y2LZg0
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 8, 2019
Who Are The Critics?
But the Green New Deal is certainly not without its critics. Some, including Jesse Jenkins, Environmental Fellow at Harvard University, remain skeptical. In response to AOC’s proposal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, Jenkins believes “[it will be] an enormous challenge and will require reductions in carbon emissions much faster than have been achieved historically.”
University of Vermont Professor Robert Bartlett recently told Inverse that the plan seems too ambitious to achieve in the specified timeframe. Mike Bloomberg holds a stronger view, that the proposal is”pie in the sky, [one] that we never are going to pass, are never going to afford.”
Lastly, don’t forget the Democrats who have lobbyist money from gas and oil companies. In fact, all 25 of them aren’t supporters of the Green New Deal.
So What’s Next?
It doesn’t sound like the Green New Deal will be able to pass. Despite there being overwhelming support for it on the left, Nancy Pelosi views it to be no more than “one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive”.
But what’s good is that this conversation is being reignited. Climate change, renewable energy, sustainability – these are important issues to discuss.
Steven is an Editor for the Politics section at The Rising and a Computer Science student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.