US lawmakers introduce ‘Green New Deal’ resolution
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US lawmakers introduce ‘Green New Deal’ resolution

US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced a resolution Thursday proposing a Green New Deal to combat climate change.

The resolution assigns the federal government five main duties. These duties include reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, creating millions of high-wage jobs, and investing in infrastructure and industry. The government would also have the duty to secure clean air and water, climate and community resilience, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for everyone in the US. Preventing and repairing oppression is the fifth duty described in the resolution.

The plan calls for all of the duties to be accomplished within a 10-year period. In order to meet the duties, the resolution includes 14 goals and projects. This includes updating infrastructure to be more resilient to climate-change related disasters. The power demand of the US is to be met 100 percent by zero-emission energy sources. Energy efficiency in power grids and buildings will also be increased. Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions will be removed from manufacturing and agriculture. The transportation system will be overhauled to include zero-emission vehicles and high-speed trains.

In order to meet these projects, the resolution includes 15 requirements that must be met. This includes providing support to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses. Training and higher education needs to be available to all. The government will also invest in research and development of new technologies. The new jobs will have family-sustaining wages and the right to unionize will be strengthened. All people will also be provided with access to high-quality healthcare.

A report led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released in November detailed the expected economic impacts that are expected due to climate change. Also in November, the US Supreme Court refused to block a lawsuit against the federal government over climate change. UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment David Boyd called for accelerated action to combat climate change in October.