Green New Deal Resolution Pushes Congress to Act on Climate

Statement by Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Feb 7, 2019

WASHINGTON (February 7, 2019)—Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced joint resolutions today that recognize the economic, social and environmental impacts of a changing climate and call for a comprehensive approach to address its causes and effects.

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“We are excited and heartened to see this Green New Deal resolution introduced, which lays out a bold, ambitious vision for how to address climate change in a principled, equitable and science-based manner. This announcement echoes calls from young people around the world for leaders to step up and take bold action because it is their future well-being that is at stake.  

“The United States must enact swift, aggressive and comprehensive policies to help us achieve the carbon reductions needed to curtail global climate change, while protecting and prioritizing communities most vulnerable to impacts from a changing climate and ensuring that all people in America benefit from a transition to a low-carbon economy. It’s vital for Congress to show leadership on this issue, especially as the Trump administration is stymying and reversing policies that cut emissions in our power and transportation sectors. It is also vital that we remain open to all effective solutions and appropriately use all of the tools in the toolbox.

“It’s refreshing to see members of the House and Senate being guided by science. The Green New Deal resolution acknowledges off the bat the latest, landmark science that shines a light on the toll climate change has on people across the United States, with impacts occurring in every part of the country.

“A cornerstone of the resolution calls for transparent, inclusive policies so that historically marginalized communities, hit first and hardest by a changing climate and disproportionately burdened by the impacts of our fossil fuel dependence, are front and center in the process. The resolution’s focus on a rapid, massive near-term investment in equitable climate solutions is exactly what’s needed to accelerate the clean energy momentum already underway nationwide, ensure its health and economic benefits flow to all people, and ensure the United States is well on its way to contributing its fair share to meeting the long-term climate goals articulated in the Paris agreement.

“We’re reaching a tipping point on climate action. Reaching net-zero carbon emissions as quickly as possible is vital and it will require a sustained effort over the next decade and beyond. We look forward to working alongside a diverse group of business, labor, environmental justice, science, agriculture, youth and broadly representative civil society groups and communities to turn this resolution into actionable, bipartisan legislation.”