Democrats Are Uniting Around a Progressive Climate Platform

Photo Montage: Zac Freeland, Vox

In a well-researched and thorough story, Vox reporter David Roberts explains why Democrats should finally be hopeful that the numerous factions and “green groups” that make up the Democratic coalition are coming into alignment on climate change policy and that this growing sense of unity bodes well not only for the election but also for governing in the event that Democrats retake the White House.  The new policy alignment on climate is borne out of the long Presidential primary campaign, in which all the candidates agreed that climate change is an important issue and then proceeded to attempt to outdo one another, and thus now there is a veritable climate smorgasbord of good ideas to choose from.  But according to Roberts, the groups have embraced a three-pillar approach of “Standards, Investment, and Justice” and have firmly moved away from market mechanisms like cap and trade and carbon taxes.

Why This Matters:  The new myriad of policies may seem small, but when added together they provide a breadth of coverage that is more substantial than the previous structural silver bullets of carbon trading and offsets that were actually quite complicated to legislate, as was learned the hard way in the 2009 Waxman-Markey donnybrook.  In a “disaggregated” policy, Roberts reasons, there is something for everyone and climate change policy gets infused across the government not pigeonholed in any one agency, making it much more politically powerful, and resilient in that it can also shed any one piece that becomes a liability.   

Read the whole article here.  It is worth your time.  And FWIW, I (Monica) agree that there is good reason for optimism that Democrats are finally coming together around new progressive climate policies and that climate issues will be front and center in the campaign for the Presidency, and that is HUGE.

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