Imagine a world 100% powered by renewables. A sustainable world where development does not take an irreversible toll on our planet’s natural resources. A world where there is funding to support a just recovery for the communities most impacted by climate change and a just transition for those economically dependent on the fossil fuel industry. A world where there is support for those on the frontlines suffering the worst impacts of extreme weather events now, and no one is left behind. That world is possible.
The Green New Deal, a resolution introduced in February in the United States Congress by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, is more than just a response to an environmental threat—it’s a vision for a more equal, just and fair future. This vision goes beyond partisan debate. In fact, a recent poll shows that the majority of people in the US support the Green New Deal, including a large majority of conservatives.
The resolution is not perfect. For one, it still needs to confront the architects of the climate crisis — the fossil fuel industry. That means laying out a clear path for phasing out existing use of coal, oil, and gas and immediately stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure like pipelines. But this initiative outlines a way forward towards the future we need, not only in the US, but across the globe.
The IPCC report released last year is very clear: with each passing year of inaction, we are losing precious time to work on real solutions to protect us from climate catastrophe. We can’t ignore that anymore. We are seeing the call from around the world for action on climate change. From Australia to Bangkok, from the US to Europe, the youth is rising and demanding world leaders to act before it’s too late. A coalition of more than 60 organisations is pushing for Canada leaders to adopt a deal similar to the one proposed in the US, and both Ireland the UK Parliament, after strong pressure from activists, have made the historical decision to declare a climate emergency.
Will changing the systems we have in place cost money? Yes. But ignoring the impacts of climate change will cost us more. In fact, extreme weather events already cost the world almost 100 billion US dollars in 2018, alone. And that is not the only reason we need a global Green New Deal.
We need it because thousands of people are already dying from the effects of extreme weather events. We need it because it’s long overdue that governments and corporations stop putting the profits of few over the lives of millions of people. We need it because those who contribute the least to climate change are the ones affected the most and the ones who need the most support.
We can’t ignore the climate crisis anymore. This is everyone’s fight. Whether it is by demanding our leaders to push for resolutions like the Green New Deal, or joining the movement to protect our forests and our oceans, this is the time for us to demand better together.
It’s time for all of us to assert our rights, demand climate justice, and a dignified way of life.