By Kate Aronoff
The New Republic
With the “Green New Deal Champions” pledge, progressive groups are reorienting for 2022—and 2030.
With prospects for comprehensive climate legislation looking dim, a number of congressional Democrats and several dozen progressive groups are set to unveil a “Green New Deal Champions” pledge for congressional candidates on Monday. It’s intended to further define what it means for both sitting and aspiring federal lawmakers to support the Green New Deal, adding meat to the bones of a framework critics have long accused of being both too broad and not specific enough.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey first introduced the original Green New Deal Resolution in 2019. But as of Monday, being a “Green New Champion” will mean not merely signing on to that resolution but backing a suite of nine bills that includes Green New Deals for Schools, Public Housing, and Cities. Though candidates are being asked to sign the pledge, it’s also a means of holding currently serving members to the same standards.
“We knew from the beginning that this package [Build Back Better] was never going to be the Green New Deal,” says Adrien Salazar, policy director of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, a network signed on to the pledge. “Even if we win the small slice of it that folks are still negotiating—as large as those investments could be—it would be insufficient. This pledge is charting the long course of this fight,” Salazar added. “If we’re actually talking about winning a Green New Deal, we will need strong bills that delineate the bold vision we need. And we need them to be ready to come off the shelf.”