Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., declared victory this week in the fight to push her Green New Deal package during an event celebrating the five-year anniversary of the controversial legislation.
Ocasio-Cortez was joined at the event by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and several other Democrats and climate activists outside the U.S. Capitol, where she said the Green New Deal movement has sparked widespread climate policies and green energy projects nationwide. Additionally, she and Markey, the two original sponsors of the Green New Deal, released a five-year anniversary report highlighting their achievements and future climate goals.
“What an incredible, amazing day. Five years ago, we introduced a 10-year vision for social and ecological transformation big enough to save our planet. The Green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez remarked.
“When we unveiled the Green New Deal, the critics jumped against it nearly immediately,” she added. “They said it was an impossible dream, too impractical and not serious enough. And today we can say that they were wrong. In the last five years, we have made major strides in tackling the climate crisis and creating millions of jobs by building together a diverse coalition of people committed to a better future.”
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She added that the Green New Deal ultimately led to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats’ massive climate package signed into law by President Biden in August 2022 that funnels tens of billions of dollars to green energy programs. Ocasio-Cortez said the Green New Deal “paved the way for that to get done,” saying that activists “should not settle for anything less than transforming our society and economy.”
In his remarks, Markey added that the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, two other billion-dollar packages passed during Biden’s presidency, also stemmed from the Green New Deal.
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“We have to take even more ambitious steps forward towards rebuilding our public services, towards supporting union and clean economy workers, towards phasing out fossil fuels, towards holding Big Oil, Big Gas accountable for what they have done,” Markey said. “But if the past five years have taught us anything, it is that we will do it. We will win, and we will do it together.”
“That is what we’re celebrating today, the progress that we’ve made, but also the commitment that we’re making to an even better future as we fight together to secure that future,” he said.
In their report, titled, “Five Years of the Green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez and Markey outlined a series of state and federal climate-related achievements, in addition to the recent legislation, that they said was made possible because of their Green New Deal resolution. They also said public opinion has dramatically changed and that more adults believe global warming is happening than ever.
They also boasted in the report that coal power production has declined while renewable energy has increased over the last two decades. Additionally, they said Biden’s actions aiming to electrify the power and transportation sectors closely resemble road maps included in the Green New Deal.
“These key elements of a Green New Deal future cannot be left behind or forgotten,” the report concluded. “In the next five years, the Green New Deal movement will continue to fight for intersectional victories.”
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Ocasio-Cortez and Markey, meanwhile, first introduced the Green New Deal resolution in February 2019 amid calls from climate activists and environmental organizations for Congress to pass aggressive policies curbing carbon emissions. The bill has been backed by a wide range of left-wing environmental and labor groups in addition to other Democrats.
While the Green New Deal is just 14 pages and includes little detail about how it would achieve its lofty greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, the legislation would effectively end fossil fuel extraction and include massive investments in green energy alternatives. An analysis released by the American Action Forum shortly after the resolution was first introduced estimated that its provisions would cost up to $92.9 trillion.