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Green New Deal: Feasible and Affordable

Feb 23, 2019

“There are three main ideas of the Green New Deal Resolution introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey.

The first is to decarbonize the US energy system — that is, to end the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning coal, oil and natural gas, in order to stop global warming.

The second is to guarantee lower-cost, high-quality health coverage for all.

The third is to ensure decent jobs and living standards for all Americans, in part by making colleges and vocational schools affordable for all.

The right wing and corporate lobbies are already hyperventilating: It is unachievable; it will bankrupt us; it will make us into Venezuela.

These claims are dead wrong. The Green New Deal agenda is both feasible and affordable. This will become clear as the agenda is turned into specific legislation for energy, health care, higher education, and more.

The Green New Deal combines ideas across several parts of the economy because the ultimate goal is sustainable development. That means an economy that delivers a package deal: good incomes, social fairness, and environmental sustainability. Around the world, governments are aiming for the same end — a ‘triple-bottom line’ of economic, social, and environmental objectives.
In the US, the economy is feeding the wealth of billionaires while leaving tens of millions of households with no financial cushion at all. Meanwhile, the fossil-fuel lobby continues to endanger the planet by promoting the use of fuels that contribute to climate change, raising the risk of mega-floods, droughts, hurricanes, and heat waves, claiming many lives and costing the US more than $450 billion during 2016-18, or more than $150 billion per year on average.

The key ideas of the Green New Deal — decarbonization, lower-cost health care, and decent living standards for the working class — have been studied for years. The Green New Deal Resolution is the opportunity, finally, to put that vast knowledge into effect.
What is absolutely clear is that the Green New Deal is affordable. The claims about the unaffordability of these goals are pure hype. The detailed plans that will emerge in the coming months will expose the bluster.”

 

Jeffrey Sachs
Fri 22 Feb 2019

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