The investments in clean energy jobs the Green New Deal proposes will be more than a modern version of the Works Progress Administration, or WPA – an agency of FDR’s New Deal - which put 8.5 million Americans to work and pulled the nation out of the Great Depression. The scope of the program proposals surpass anything to date and if implemented, will transform both the economy and environment “in ways that achieve sustainability, equity, justice, freedom, and happiness.”
What’s more and even better, attacking the crisis of climate change within the framework of a massive infrastructure and jobs program will benefit low-income neighborhoods, rural, indigenous, and communities of color (which are hit hardest by pollution historically and present day, and still neglected when it comes to redressing the harm done to their communities).
As a Black woman raising kids in the diverse working class community of Richmond and seeing the attempts by fossil fuel corporations to establish a presence that would be harmful to residents, I am all too aware of the way some communities pay the expense for corporate greed. Of course, it’s the children who pay the highest price.
I am a believer in the aim of the Green New Deal (GND), which calls for a reduction of U.S. carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of preventing global warming beyond 2.7 degrees by 2100. According to the group Data for Progress, the GND could generate up to 10 million new jobs. By resolving to cut our carbon output in half by 2030, the plan could generate union jobs in the new economy, retrofitting or building new infrastructure, establishing modes of manufacturing based on sustainability, a military that's directed away from wasteful and environmentally harmful wars and aggression to….. literally, saving the planet and with it, our neighborhoods. The GND’s progressive energy agenda and plan could be the vehicle to transition to a 21st century economy based on principles of equity and justice.