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The New York Times reported on a new study published last week that found that older people are “significant contributors” to climate change because energy consumption increases with a person’s age, but also have experienced observable climate changes in their lifetimes. Meanwhile, The Washington Post found that many state and local politicians are putting the Green New Deal (GND) label on their own proposals to halt the climate crisis because the GND is so popular with young voters, even though the Sunrise Movement (the youth organization whose protests sparked the proposal) often pushes back on these proposals saying they don’t go far enough.
Why This Matters:These two news reports, in a nutshell, encapsulate the climate change generation gap. Older people have been the cause of greenhouse gas emissions that resulted in the climate crisis. They are also continuing to add to the problem because of their increasing energy use. The confluence of an aging population and an increasingly warm climate will likely expand the scope of the impacts, challenging the supply and demand of energy for the older population. And as the inheritors of the problem, young people are anxious for the sweeping changes represented by a so-called Green New Deal, even if the policies behind the label are not the most extreme versions of the GND proposal. Meanwhile, older Democrats are less enthusiastically behind any proposal labeled as a GND, even though they are the ones who can be the most certain that climate change is real and already happening because they have lived long enough to witness the changes themselves.
The Fuzzy GND: Meanwhile, legislators seem somewhat comfortable with a more moderate and less defined set of policy ideas and proposals in order to ensure they appeal to a wide swath of the Democratic Party. The Post cites the fact that the energy committee of the AFL-CIO “lambasted” Ocasio-Cortez’s GND proposal as “not achievable or realistic.” But in Maine, state legislators behind the GND there have sought the buy-in of labor unions early when drafting their own respective plans and proposals on the climate change.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Though many companies have publicly announced their commitments to achieving net-zero emissions, new research paints a more sobering picture — less than a quarter of the world’s large public companies are on track to meet the goals of the Paris agreement by 2050. In fact, emissions have continued to […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer As President Biden’s long-anticipated virtual Earth Day climate summit begins today, dozens of companies are set to announce significant investments in renewable energy, electric vehicles, and conservation to help the U.S. reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Yet it will be the global financial sector that will be subject to increased pressure […]
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.
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