A new “Commentary on Solidarity and Survival” on “The Green New Deal in the States” by LNS co-founder and senior strategic advisor Jeremy Brecher features the wide-ranging climate legislation and executive action taken by California in 2022. These measures require:

  •  3,200 foot setbacks from homes, schools, and hospitals for new oil and gas wells.
  • 90% of electricity carbon-free by 2035 and 95% by 2040.
  • State carbon-neutral by 2045.
  •  Organic waste in landfills cut by 75% by 2025.
  • Grocery stores must donate unsold food to food banks.
  • New fracking projects are banned by 2024.
  • Zero-emission vehicles must be 35% of sales by 2026, 68% by 2030, and 100% by 2035.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the new laws will create four million jobs.

These are only a few examples of programs recently adopted by states around the country to realize the core goals of the Green New Deal: climate protection, labor rights, countering historical injustices, protecting workers and communities from side-effects of energy system transition, and ensuring food, housing, education, and economic security for all. For example:

Climate protection: Shutting down fossil fuel facilities, building new fossil free energy systems, and forms of energy efficiency ranging from low-emission building standards to electrification of vehicles to reduced energy demand.

Worker rights: Expanded labor rights and standards include requirements for prevailing wages, project labor agreements, and employer neutrality on union representation.

Justice: Policies to counter historical injustices range from recruitment, training, and job ladders for workers from discriminated-against demographics to priority for closing power plants in highly polluted climate justice communities.

Just transition: Measures to protect workers and communities range from investment in communities impacted by climate policies, to transition assistance for workers, to requiring employers to provide preferential employment opportunities for affected employees.

Social welfare: New social benefits have ranged from free meals for all public school students, to low-emission low-income housing, to job training centers in low-income neighborhoods.

According to “The Green New Deal in the States,” these programs are all part of an emerging “Green New Deal from Below.”

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