Over the past few months, a lot of people have been talking and arguing over something called the “Green New Deal.” Political issues can be overwhelming, especially nowadays, so it’s easy to tune people out when they debate proposed new policies like this. However, it is important to understand what’s going on, especially when it relates to something you’re passionate about, and for me that’s environmental issues. To clear up what this highly-contested proposal is, and to provide some basic information, here is a list of some of the things this deal aims to achieve:
- The elimination of as much greenhouse gas emissions as possible—the Green New Deal takes a more radical approach to cutting carbon emissions by aiming to provide the US with 100% renewable energy sources, in order to avoid some of the more extreme effects of climate change.
- Retrofitting buildings to be energy efficient—this means making existing buildings more clean by using greener technology, which includes everything from installing new windows to new light bulbs.
- Creating more clean transportation to improve mobility and cut transportation-related emissions. One of the proposed items is a high-speed rail, which is already changing the way people travel around the world.
- Working with farmers to cut down on agricultural pollution and emissions—this includes encouraging farmers to use more environmentally-friendly fertilizers, and feeding cows diets that improve methane emissions.
Although this list is by no means everything included in the fourteen-page document, it does provide a bit of background information into the types of policies backers of the Green New Deal hope to achieve. Overall, these proposals operate under the philosophy that we can’t wait any longer to take action on climate change.
Written by Isabel Lieberman, Class of 2021.