Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
On Tuesday, moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives, led by Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, announced at a press conference that they will develop a “concrete” new climate proposal as an alternative to the Green New Deal, with a goal of achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050. While it is not clear what will be in the “concrete” proposal, the lawmakers promised to consult with stakeholders in developing it, and it is less ambitious than the Green New Deal, which sets a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2030 in order to aggressively deal with the crisis and improve the odds that we stay within the 1.5-degree Celsius temperature increase that the IPCC recommends. The Green New Deal already has garnered 94 supporters in the House and has the support of all the leading Democratic candidates for President.
Why This Matters: A public splintering of Democrats on addressing the climate emergency is not helpful to the drafting or the passage of climate legislation. Just like with other issues, divisions will only make it easier for climate-denying Republicans and President Trump to succeed in rolling back current climate protections further. Discussion is important. Debating policy ideas is critical. Dissension and division among supporters of climate action will undermine all our efforts. As Greta Thunberg said in her speech to the French National Assembly, let’s unite behind the science (which both groups maintain supports their position), and stop talking about what we disagree about, and start drafting real proposals.
The GND Alternative
The “100 by 50” proposal will be done by the end of the year, according to the leaders behind it, and they intend to hold a number of hearings and meetings with business leaders and environmentalists in developing it.
Representative Paul Tonko said, “We can do any kind of whimsical thing but we have to do this in a way that includes conversations with stakeholders, their buy-in and their involvement in a consensus bill.”
Representative Tonko will be one of the lead architects of the “100 by 50” plan and will chair many of the hearings that will inform an eventual bill.
The Sunrise Movement reacted to the news saying, “Pallone and Democratic leaders are right that this is a crisis. But by setting a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 here in the United States, they’re not acting like it.”
But other groups supported the “100 by 50” proposal — The National Resources Defense Council said House Democrats “are setting bold goals to protect our children and grandchildren from climate catastrophe,” and the Sierra Club said that these House Democrats are “taking the 100 percent clean energy progress happening in cities and states all across the country to a national scale.”
What The Real Other Side Is Saying
Fox News, meanwhile, reported that according to a new study by the Heritage Foundation, the goal of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is practically impossible.
The Heritage study also concluded that just “a 58 percent reduction would, by 2040, cost the economy $15 trillion in lost gross domestic product and an average of 1.1 million jobs per year. The average family of four would also see a total income loss of $165,000, or nearly $8,000 each year.”
Today the Biden administration unveils its American Jobs Plan and it is chock full of actions that will create jobs and address climate change and environmental justice issues. At the same time, the Wall Street Journal reported last night that Presidential Climate Envoy Kerry is traveling later this week to the United Arab Emirates and then on to India.
Why This Matters: Climate policy is central to both the Biden foreign and domestic agendas.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new report, published Wednesday found that the world’s largest commercial and investment banks have altogether put $3.8 trillion into fossil fuels from 2016 to 2020. This report — a collaboration between the Rainforest Action Network, Bank Track, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, and Sierra Club […]
To make good on its Build Back Better promise, the Biden administration is considering a very big infrastructure bill — spending could be as much as $300 billion a year for 10 years or $3 trillion total — with much of it going to update energy infrastructure to make it “cleaner” and also for the energy grid, roads, bridges, and water pipes and sewer upgrades to make them safer and more climate-resilient, several major media outlets are reporting.
Why This Matters: Americans, according to recent polling by Yale University’s climate communications project, overwhelmingly want to see Congress and the administration take bold action on climate change.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.