In the past two years there has been a wave of state legislation and executive action that sets and implements new standards for greenhouse gas emissions. States have greatly expanded their plans for wind and solar energy and energy efficiency. In most cases these are combined with policies specifically designed to create good quality jobs and to counter inequality.
States have the power to implement much of the Green New Deal – and some states are using that power. States regulate power generation, local distribution of electricity, and siting decisions. They set the parameters for urban planning and public transit. Most states have adopted renewable portfolio standards that require utilities to use a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources. Many have adopted policies for energy storage, electric vehicles, energy efficiency standards for appliance and buildings, low carbon fuel standards, and emissions trading. And some are combining such climate protection policies with strategies to create good jobs and overcome longstanding economic and social injustices.
There are organizing efforts for programs that embody the principles of the Green New Deal in every one of the fifty states. In many states some of these policies have already been established and are starting to be implemented. This is largely a result of popular pressure and organization. It also results from politicians trying to appeal to concerned electorates. These victories have typically been produced by coalitions whose objectives combine climate, jobs, and justice.
Two new “Commentaries on Solidarity and Survival” by LNS Co-Founder and Senior Advisor Jeremy Brecher describe job-creating, justice-promoting climate protection in Hawaii, Illinois, and California.
“The Green New Deal in the States – Part 1”: www.labor4sustainability.org/articles/commentary-the-green-new-deal-in-the-states-part-1/
“The Green New Deal in the States – Part 2”: www.labor4sustainability.org/strike/commentary-the-green-new-deal-in-the-states-part-2/