The Green New Deal introduced a vision of many innovations, yet there is one subtle concept that stands out among all the suggestions, and it seems that this is something that we needed the most – hope. The Green New Deal might not be as new as its name suggests, for the phrase was coined in 2007 while the idea started forming as early as the 1970s. The major recognition started when the Democratic Party adopted the term and stood up for green principles in 2018.
The Green New Deal is focused around the energy industry, but there is a much more detailed plan behind it. The GND change to fight current global conditions and prevent the threatening future climate impacts by thoroughly remodeling the economy once and for all. The deal is based on already available resources and the plan to invest those in a way that benefits the future. Its main objectives are the reduction of GHG and carbon, making the way for clean energy and thus ending the use of fossil fuels. Introducing renewable resources and low-carbon technologies would provide millions of new jobs. Filling up the job market would end unemployment and enable social security.
The GND strives to provide opportunities to all those who never got one and taking the power from those who only use it to make a profit and neglecting the future of the planet. So, all in all, the GND does not focus solely on solving environmental issues but tries to build foundations for a better life. It aims towards improving overall living conditions for everyone; especially for those who live in poverty and have been hit by the swinging and rising prices of energy harder than the rest. By solving environmental issues, the GND tends to contribute to solving health issues and conditions which are caused by the high concentration of harmful emissions which were already proved to have a detrimental effect.
In people. People are the major reason for climate change in the first place, and they are the reason behind stalling and con. The last five years from 2014 to 2018 were the hottest in the 139-year history of NOAA’s recording. Up to now, 2019 looks like it will share the second place on the list with 2017. Yet, there are still people who claim that global warming is a hoax.
The fact that the people who claim this are people with power is a big problem. Despite all the environmental changes, they still oppose the facts and scientific reports, while their beliefs influence many people.
The Green New Deal wants to overthrow the system sitting on the use of fossil fuels and losing its grasp and sense under the weight of piling CO2 emissions. The voice of everyone who stands for this policy has to be loud enough to reach everyone who still thinks that stopping climate change is a matter of science. It is not – not anymore. We have the resources and means which can save the world, but deeply rooted politics are getting in the way. If politics does not change, science cannot help.
“That is what a Green New Deal is all about: preserving our planet with a just transition focused on economic opportunity, jobs, and justice, peace and prosperity. To do any less is to stall or regress,” said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her speech at the C40 summit. Many a manufacturer fears loss, but there are ways to turn predicted loss into profit. We – and more importantly major investors – need to look past the point of supporting fossil fuels and businesses based on them.
“The Green New Deal for Europe envisions a fairer, greener and more just continent which stands together to confront our political, economic and climate crises,” reads the introduction of the webpage summarizing the GND Europe initiative. It was established in April 2019 on the bases of its predeterminer, the GND legislation passed in the US earlier that year. They both share the proposal of a just future which strongly emphasizes a certain dependency on environmental justice.
The European Parliament introduced ten pillars that define the GND. The deal has to strive towards reducing the rising of temperature worldwide to 1.5 degrees, involving public institutions with the GND, empowering people to make change for the future, securing jobs for everyone and with that supporting equality and raising the quality of life, improving the future, decreasing the importance of endless progress, fighting climate change, and initiating immediate action.
No matter how promising the proposals of the GND are, fundamental changes are impossible without powerful people supporting them. Superficial changes will not suffice this time. To make a difference, we need a detailed approach and devotion.
The first talks about human-induced climate change emerged in the 1970s. And how much did big corporations do to switch from fossil to renewable sources? Almost fifty years is a lot of time to take action, but because there was no major change, this is the time to wake up.
Yes, there is a lot of talk about the GND. Everyone is concerned about this green initiative, and everyone is trying to find a way to save the world. Maybe this is a new wave, but it is not just a new wave. It is also an important topic in all of our agendas. However, it is very difficult to say that the GND will help us to improve our CO2 reduction and decrease the levels of global warming. What needs to be emphasized is that the global population is growing. Many countries are growing industrially. More people are getting access to energy which provides a better life. We can see this in China, India, and many African countries. So, what does it mean?
Are these countries now going to reduce the consumption of energy and be bound to an agreement that might have an impact on people and the country’s growth? If we think about the future, this is something that needs to be considered. What I can see is, however, that such countries are very committed to preparing the infrastructure and guaranteeing their people a better life. I think that this is a part of us, a policy of people, to offer a better life to the community. Whether this comes with green, yellow, or even blue policy, we have to believe that people, politicians, and the overall thinking of each individual are oriented towards a strong effort to contribute to a better life. This will be very important.
We, as Europeans, need to be in the front seat and drive this movement. We need to build it first in our environment and be very determined in doing so. We should not start by teaching other countries and everyone who is moving towards the living standard that we have in Europe. Instead, we should first focus on solving the issues that we have in our environment. That means that we have to set our house in order first, and if we manage to do that, we could set a great example of society for others. Possibly, we could engage people without a proposition that there needs to be a huge agreement because if a country is not adjusting its policy to an agreement that could be a big issue for everyone. So, a policy is great, but everyone’s contribution is even greater.
The GND started in the US but proposed a wholesome approach. The temperatures are not rising only in the US, they are rising globally. The oil and gas industry is not only American, it is global. The carbon emissions are being released all over the world, not only in the US. The initiative for stopping the destruction of our planet comes from one continent but calls upon every country to stop harmful practices, opt for renewables, and provide new, resourceful jobs. Europe has joined, China did, too – and did so by setting an example in the sales of electric cars and implementing renewable energy. Governments all over the world are agreeing with the GND, but its success will depend on all of us. The GND does not need only governmental approval but people’s as well. To unlock its potential, we need to change our mindset and lifestyle; the sooner, the better.