In 2018, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reconstituted the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The committee–led by the then-newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez–was charged with the creation of a Green New Deal. While the recently released plan doesn’t create a job guarantee, national health coverage, or nationalize any industries, experts are saying that the plan does represent a shift in how congressional leaders’ approach climate policy.
WHAT’S IN THE CLIMATE CRISIS ACTION PLAN?
You can read the full report (which clocks in at over 500 pages), but the objectives of the plan are what really have people talking. As outlined in the Climate Crisis Action Plan (CCAP), the overall goals are to:
Reaching 100% clean, net-zero emissions economy-wide in the U.S. by no later than 2050.
Establishing ambitious interim targets to assess programs and reduce pollution in environmental justice (EJ) communities.
Achieving net-negative emissions during the 2nd half of the century.
These goals are ambitious for climate change policies. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a more broad goal of reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. House Republicans are signing on for climate change policies with the same goal. To clarify: the CCAP goal is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This includes all greenhouse gases–methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and more. To put it simply, the CCAP is a bold target to aim for.
THE 12 PILLARS TO CHANGE
The key to completing these ambitious climate goals lie in the 12 policy pillars the report lays out as key areas of focus:
- Invest in infrastructure to build a just, equitable, and resilient clean energy economy.
- Drive innovation and deployment of clean energy and deep decarbonization technologies.
- Transform U.S. industry and expand domestic manufacturing of clean energy and zero-emission technologies.
- Break down barriers for clean energy technologies.
- Invest in America’s workers and build a fairer economy.
- Invest in disproportionately exposed communities to cut pollution and advance environmental justice.
- Improve public health and manage climate risks to health infrastructure.
- Invest in American agriculture for climate solutions.
- Make US communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
- Protect and restore America’s lands, waters, ocean, and wildlife.
- Confront climate risks to America’s national security and restore America’s leadership on the international stage.
- Strengthen America’s core institutions to facilitate climate action.
Each pillar has subsections that feature details on the policies that would support each pillar, as well as which congressional committee would hold jurisdiction over which areas.
Ultimately, the goals laid out in the CCAP will require a lot of work from many different departments and areas of our federal government, but one thing is clear: if completed, this plan could change the landscape of the United States and the fight against climate change as we know it.