Six Green New Deals: How Do They Compare?

Six Green New Deals

By Guy Dauncey  September 13, 2019

Guy Dauncey is founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and the author or co-author of ten books, including The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming and Journey to the Future: A Better World Is Possible. He is currently completing The Economics of Kindness: A Ten-Year Transition to a Green Cooperative Economy. He lives in Yellow Point, on Vancouver Island, Canada. His website is www.thepracticalutopian.ca.

I premise my analysis on five statements:

  • The climate emergency is real.
  • The ecological emergency is real.
  • The inequality, household debt and affordable housing crises are real.
  • A new global financial crisis is lurking, caused by excessive corporate and private debt and banking deregulation.
  • We need a rapid ten-year mobilization to achieve a transition to a new green economy, supported by a Green New Deal (GND).

What is a Green New Deal? The idea comes from President Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s, which used a Keynesian economic approach with active government intervention to regulate the banks, manage the economy and invest heavily in job creation to overcome systemic economic failure and end the Great Depression. The New Deal firmly rejected the idea that the market, if left to itself, would solve the problem. That same idea today, based on faulty neoclassical economic theory, is an indirect cause of the dramatic rise of the climate and ecological emergencies as well as the 2008 financial crisis and the crises of inequality, debt and unaffordable housing.

Click here: Six Green New Deals to download this paper as a PDF.

The History of the Green New Deal

The need for a Green New Deal was first raised in the UK by The Green New Deal Group, whose 2008  report and its 2013 follow-up A National Plan for the UK: From Austerity to the Age of the Green New Deal combined the vision of the GNDs analysed in this paper with a proper understanding of the power of central banks to fund a GND through their ability to create £50 billion a year for five years and invest it in the UK economy in a massive expansion of renewable electricity, green buildings and sustainable transportation. This understanding is lacking from most of the GNDs analyzed below. In September 2019 the European Central Bank announced that it would be pumping $22 billion a month into Europe’s financial markets in an effort at economic stimulus. The money will doubtless pump up stocks, commodities, housing and land, making the affordable housing crisis even worse, when it could have been injected directly into the grassroots of the economy in the form of climate solutions bonds, green energy bonds and affordable housing bonds.

To compare ideas, I have analyzed six published Green New Deals:

Of these, five are American and one European. In Finland, plans are being developed to make the entire country 100% carbon neutral by 2035, but no details have been published yet. In Canada, several community consultations are underway to craft a GND, but are not yet at a stage that warrants analysis:

Comparing the six GNDs is a hazardous undertaking, leaving much opportunity for criticism and complaint, since they are expressed in different ways, and some are more detailed than others. Jay Islee’s proposals for Global Climate Mobilization, for instance, are far more detailed than anyone else’s, so I have picked only a few of his team’s many intentions. He is no longer running for President, but his plans are the most detailed of the six, and Elizabeth Warren has openly supported and embraced many of them. Below the analysis I share some reflections.

So now – dig in!

Broad Goals

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Declaration of climate emergency/crisis ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Declaration of ecological emergency/crisis ✔️
Ten-Year Mobilization to achieve Green New Deal goals ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Exceed the Paris climate target ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Zero net greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers by 2030 ✔️ ✔️
Complete decarbonization of the economy by 2050 ✔️
Create millions of good high-wage jobs by 2030 ✔️ ✔️
Green Apollo Program to develop clean energy technology. $400 billion over ten years for R&D. $1.5 trillion federal procurement commitment over ten years to purchase American-made renewable energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export. ✔️
Commitment to meet targets by domestic reductions without use of offsets, BECCS or geo-engineering ✔️
Tackle inequality ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Large green public investment ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Promote justice and equity by ending oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Put justice at the center of America’s climate mission; use an Equity Screen on all major federal climate, energy and environmental spending ✔️
Ensure that government accounts for the complete environmental and social costs and impacts of emissions through existing laws and through new policies and programs ✔️
Provide all people with economic security by 2030 ✔️

Climate Science

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Commitment to continuously update Paris climate targets to align with the scientific consensus ✔️ ✔️
Increase investment in Earth System Sciences, NOAA, USDA, FEMA and states’ climate resources ✔️
Require a climate score or test for all proposed legislation, similar to the budget score. ✔️ ✔️

Development of the Green New Deal

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Transparent and inclusive consultation and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker coops, civil society groups, academia and businesses ✔️
Ensure democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to develop the GND at the local level ✔️
Obtain free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples in all decisions that affect them; full inclusion for tribes and Native Americans in GND ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

Nature

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Legislation to mandate that the economy operates within the Stockholm Resilience Institute’s planetary boundaries ✔️
Reverse biodiversity loss and soil degradation by 2030 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Recognize ecocide as a punishable offense, establishing civil penalties and criminal offenses ✔️
Establish an Environmental Justice Commission to monitor the progress of the green transition including international, intersectional and intergenerational justice, putting citizen participation at the core of its activities through citizen panels ✔️
Set targets for the preservation of natural habitats and reversal of biodiversity loss ✔️ ✔️
Redouble wildlife and marine species conservation efforts in rural and coastal resource-dependent communities and industries ✔️
Secure access to nature for generations to come ✔️ ✔️
Protect public lands, increase urban, suburban and rural green space; invest in National Parks repair and upgrading ✔️ ✔️
Invest $171 billion to expand the Civilian Conservation Corps to provide good-paying jobs building green infrastructure, planting billions of trees, preventing erosion, rebuilding wetlands and coral, cleaning up plastic pollution, building trails, developing methods of natural carbon sequestration ✔️
Restore and protect threatened ecosystems through locally appropriate projects that enhance biodiversity, including restoration of damaged fossil fuel extraction sites. ✔️ ✔️
Expand EPA and NOAA programs to improve the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems, promote blue carbon, restore wetlands and mangroves ✔️
Clean up hazardous and abandoned sites, including fossil fuel infrastructure on federal land. US 109: Repurpose for sustainable economic development.

JI: Increase investment in Brownfields development, re-use polluted lands for clean energy projects, modeled on ReGenesis, South Carolina.

✔️ ✔️ ✔️

Climate Adaptation and Resiliency

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
BS: Climate Justice Resiliency Fund, prioritizing grants to most vulnerable communities, including coastal resiliency to adapt to sea-level rise.

JI: Address deficit in coastal and inland water infrastructure needs, secure drought-resistant water supplies in western river basins.

✔️ ✔️
Secure climate and community resiliency for generations to come ✔️ ✔️
Increase forest firefighting, wildfire restoration and disaster preparedness capacities ✔️

Electricity

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
100% clean renewable electricity by 2030

JI & EW: 100% carbon-neutral by 2030, zero-emissions by 2035. Use of performance-based utility regulation to phase out coal and gas plants. Tax credits for renewable energy, smart grid, energy storage, new transmission lines; tax incentives for zero-emission technologies

✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Federal energy financing and loan guarantees for renewable energy. Direct grants for projects by non-profits, community organizations, local governments, academic institutions ✔️
EW: Provide 10% of US electricity generation from renewable sources offshore or on public lands (10x more than present). JI: Increase renewable energy development on federal lands/waters especially in west ✔️ ✔️
Federal agencies to achieve 100% clean energy by 2024 ✔️
Establish a Renewable Energy Administration (US-GP), Power Marketing Administration (B.S.), Federal Renewable Energy Commission (EW) to build renewable energy generation and storage systems ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Mandatory portfolio standards for decarbonization and other environmental factors ✔️ ✔️
DiEM-25: Public ownership of all utilities, public buy-out, massive public investment.

BS: public ownership of energy generated by GND, sold to municipal and other utilities

✔️ ✔️
DiEM-25: Free electricity for essential needs, followed by steeply increasing price. BS: Electricity sold at current rates to keep prices stable. ✔️ ✔️
Establish national Energy Efficiency Resource Standard for utilities to achieve all cost-effective efficiency measures, including cost of climate pollution ✔️
Accelerate ‘Top Runner’ appliance efficiency standards including zero emission appliances such as water heaters and dryers; tax incentives for industrial waste-heat recovery and carbon capture ✔️
Energy-efficient, distributed smart power grids, ensuring affordable access to power for all by 2030 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Work with utilities to create inclusive on-bill financing for efficiency and renewable energy investments for all customers ✔️
Nuclear power. GP-US: Complete phase-out by 2030

BS: Moratorium on license renewals

✔️ ✔️
BS: Ban mountaintop removal coal mining

JI & EW: Retire all coal production by 2030

✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Department of Energy  Solar Communities Initiative to achieve 10% of total electricity demand by 2040 ✔️

Transportation

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Major public investment in integrating cycling, free public transit, fleets of shared EVs and high-speed rail ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
More than double federal investment in public transit, electrifying all passenger and freight rail. Matching grants for EV infrastructure ✔️
Clean, affordable and accessible public transit and high speed rail by 2030 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure by 2030. JI & EW: Clean fuel standard requiring 100% zero emissions for all new light- and medium-duty vehicles and buses by 2030. Expanded EV tax credits and feebates. ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Massive public investment in domestic manufacturing of zero-emissions vehicles and parts, including advanced batteries ✔️
Federal investments to support EVs made in America by union workers ✔️
Rapid electrification of federal government vehicle fleet. Partnerships with other levels of government to accelerate electrification, increase market demand ✔️
Public finance to switch gas/diesel buses to electric ✔️
Grants, tax credits and feebates to buy a new EV, trade an older car for an EV ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Investment to replace all diesel trailer trucks with long-range EVs ✔️
Public financing for transition to greater employee use of public transit and telecommuting ✔️
Improve roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructures ✔️
Public investments to deploy zero-emission solutions for freight and shipping facilities at ports, as in Seattle ✔️
Become an active participant in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA); develop a carbon offsetting and emissions reduction scheme for domestic aviation; repeal President Trump’s tax breaks for private jets ✔️ ✔️
Work with the International Maritime Organization to make shipping emissions reduction a reality; impose a fee on the use of bunker fuels ✔️ ✔️

Housing/Buildings

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Massive retrofit program to make existing homes sustainable.

DiEM-25: passive house standard where possible.

✔️ ✔️
Retrofit 4% of residential and commercial buildings each year for 25 years ✔️ ✔️
Upgrade all buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency through electrification by 2030 ✔️
100% zero carbon for all new commercial and residential buildings ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Expand low-income home energy assistance program ✔️ ✔️
Tax credits for energy efficiency and electrification in new residential and commercial buildings, eg heat pumps, chillers, boilers ✔️ ✔️
Public funding to train builders, inspectors, energy managers and maintenance staff in proven energy-saving strategies, based on ‘Green Supers’ training programs ✔️ ✔️
All new homes to be sustainable, zero carbon by 2030 EW: by 2028 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Create Zero Carbon Building Standard by 2023, partnering with states, stretch-codes ✔️ ✔️
Replace all mobile homes with zero-energy modular homes ✔️
Equip every home with solar panels and heat pumps ✔️
Purchase and refurbish vacant private housing for public use ✔️
Eliminate fossil fuel use from all new and renovated federal buildings by 2023 ✔️
Expand cohousing/shared space aspects in public accommodation ✔️ ✔️
Provide all people with affordable, safe, adequate housing by 2030. BS: Build 7.4 million safe, decent, accessible affordable homes. JI: Numerous measures to achieve construction of 7 million affordable rental homes. EW: $500 billion over ten years to build, preserve, and rehab units that will be affordable to lower-income families, reduce rents by 10% ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

Fossil Fuels

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Complete phase-out of fossil fuels.

GP-US: By 2030.   BS: By 2050

✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Orderly wind-down of fossil fuel companies ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Buy out and decommission fossil fuel assets ✔️
Ban export and import of all fossil fuels, including coal and LNG ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Ban offshore drilling ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Ban fracking (in US, work with Congress)

JI: Interim legislation to restrict fracking

GP-US: Complete phase-out by 2030

✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
BS: Keep fossil fuels on public lands in the ground

JI: Ban all new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and onshore waters. Cancel and refuse to extend all existing fossil fuel leases. Work with Congress to implement permanent ban on fossil fuel leasing on public lands and coastal areas.

✔️ ✔️ ✔️
End all new federal fossil fuel infrastructure permits, including Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines, power plants and export terminals ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
End all fossil fuel subsidies and loopholes (US $26 billion/year) ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Divest federal pensions from fossil fuels. Reinvest in clean energy. Use executive action to pressure financial institutions, universities and institutional investors to divest ✔️
Transform DoE Office of Fossil Energy into Office of Industrial Decarbonization, funding advanced research, innovative materials science and industrial-use carbon capture ✔️
Create Presidential Commission on Energy Transition to implement federal policies to phase out domestic fossil fuel production and ensure a just transition for fossil fuel workers and communities. ✔️
Restrict fossil fuel corporations’ use of eminent domain to build roads etc across private property ✔️
Increase royalty rate on oil and gas production on federal lands and offshore waters; close coal industry federal leasing loopholes ✔️
Require fossil fuel infrastructure owners to buy federal fossil fuel risk bonds to pay for disaster impacts at the local level ✔️
Prosecute and sue the fossil fuel industry for the damage it has caused; use income to remunerate devasted communities ✔️
Enforce and mandate taxes and fees on fossil fuel companies and other polluters to hold them accountable for damage; re-instate Superfund taxes; repeal Trump tax cuts that resulted in windfall profits for corporations ✔️
Impose sanctions on corporations and entities that threaten national emissions reduction goals ✔️
Appoint judges who will uphold and respect US environmental and climate law ✔️

Price on Carbon

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Carbon tax. US-GP: $60/tonne, rising by $15/20 annually ✔️
Carbon fee on all GHGs, starting low and rising aggressively ✔️
Carbon fee-and-dividend. Start low with a dividend payable within a few months. Low income groups receive more in dividends than they pay in carbon fees. ✔️
Reject cap-and-trade systems ✔️ ✔️
Environmental damages tax on air pollution ✔️
Climate adjustment duty at the border on imported goods with high embodied GHGs ✔️ ✔️

The Other GHGs: Methane, Nitrous Oxide, HFCs, SF6, Black Carbon

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US EU

 

Regulate reduction of CO2, methane and HFCs ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Require fossil fuel corporations to repair infrastructures to end methane leaks ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Immediate action to phase out HFC super-pollutants, ratify the UN Kigali Amendment ✔️
Launch a new nitrous oxide management strategy ✔️
Support global black carbon reduction strategies ✔️

Food and Farming

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Restore natural ecosystems that increase soil carbon storage, such as land preservation and afforestation ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Carbon farming initiative to pay farmers for sequestrating carbon in the soil; capture methane ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Increase funding for Conservation Stewardship Program. JI: from $1 to $3 billion.

EW: From $1 to $15 billion; expand types pf practice eligible for compensation

✔️ ✔️
Eliminate use of fossil-fuel based pesticides and fertilizers by 2030 ✔️
Work with farmers and ranchers to remove GHGs by supporting family farming, investing in sustainable practices that increase soil health ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Transition to new organic farmers for farmers at end of Conservation Reserve Program contracts ✔️
Incentivize community ownership of farmland ✔️
Funding for farmers to grow and harvest advanced low-carbon sustainable biofuels ✔️ ✔️
Break up big agribusiness monopolies, enforce antitrust laws ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Hold Big Ag accountable for environmental abuses, pay full environmental costs ✔️
Develop supply management and grain reserve systems ✔️ ✔️
Reform patent law to prevent predatory lawsuits from agribusinesses like Bayer/Monsanto ✔️
Reform agricultural subsidies so that more money goes to small and medium farms, instead of 77% to largest 10% of farms ✔️ ✔️
JI: USDA to drive innovation in enhancing ecosystem services, new revenue streams for farming communities, sound farming practices. Deployment of Next-Generation Clean Energy Extension Services.

EW: re-invest in land grant universities

✔️ ✔️
JI: Launch ARPA-Ag to promote innovation and advanced research in agriculture, long-term natural carbon storage, bio-energy, zero-water-waste agricultural practices.

EW: Farming Innovation Fund

✔️ ✔️
Low-interest public financing for transition to eco-agricultural practices, agroforestry and soil restoration ✔️
Low-interest public financing for rewilding marginal areas and creating wildlife corridors ✔️
Low-interest public financing for shift to organic meat production, from CAFOs to ‘good quality meat’, non-meat protein sources ✔️
R&D to develop non-chemical farming techniques and seed varieties ✔️
Develop a Common Food Policy to end conflicting policy objectives and hidden costs in international food trade, accelerate agro-ecological transition ✔️
Invest $36 billion in victory lawns and gardens to grow food or for reforestation. There are 40 million acres of lawn in America. ✔️
Invest $14.7 billion in cooperatively-owned grocery stores. Incentivize schools to procure locally-produced food ✔️
Expand the US Farm-to-School program 100-fold. Turn it into a $1 billion Farm-to-People program in which all federally-supported public institutions including military bases and hospitals partner with local, independent farmers to provide fresh local food ✔️
Increase USDA’s Local Agriculture Market Program 10-fold to $500 million/year to fund food hubs, distribution centers and points-of-sale for rural and small town communities ✔️
JI & EW: Assist young people, women and people of color to farm the land, including student loan forgiveness. EW: Allow heirs’ property owners to access USDA, FEMA and HUD programs ✔️ ✔️
Invest $160 billion to solve hunger and reduce methane emissions  through reduced food waste, food recovery and composting ✔️
Secure universal access to healthy sustainable food for generations to come by 2030 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Low-interest public financing for transition to ecological fisheries management ✔️

Forests

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Major investment in federal forest land, state and local partnerships to capture the full carbon storage potential of reforestation, address the millions of acres of forest not under best management practices. ✔️
Reward carbon removal in forests by investing in and financing improved management in private forests, reforestation of marginal farmlands, long term forest protection through conservation easements and incentives ✔️
Pursue federal-state-local collaboratives to capture full forest carbon storage potential ✔️
Use sustainable biomass from forestry thinning to protect forests, make renewable materials and create jobs ✔️
Prioritize  federal commodity sourcing from low-deforestation sources for beef, soy, palm oil, and wood products ✔️
Work with partners to enforce regulation of illegal logging and trade in endangered timber species ✔️
Promote deforestation-free supply chains and certified commodities such as palm oil, FSC timber, fair trade ✔️

The Military

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Cut military spending by at least half, cease maintaining bases all over the world to safeguard fossil fuel supplies and oil monarchies, saving $5 trillion over ten years ✔️ ✔️
Evaluate current and historical costs of protecting US oil supplies around the world (estimated at $81 billion/year), seek ways to recover the costs ✔️
Require the Pentagon to achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030 ✔️

Trade

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
DiEM-25: Reshape WTO rules to integrate sustainability into the WTO. EW: Protect green policies, subsidies and preferential treatments from WTO challenges; create a ‘non-sustainable economy’ designation that would allow tough penalties on countries with systemically poor labor and environmental practices. ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Enact and enforce trade rules, standards and protections to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas and grow domestic manufacturing ✔️
End secrecy in trade negotiations; ensure that environmental, consumer and labor representatives outnumber corporate interests on trade advisory committees. Make draft agreements public, giving everyone opportunity to comment. ✔️
Revise the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to include enforceable labor, environmental and climate standards ✔️
Establish labor, human rights, climate, corruption and tax evasion standards as a precondition for entering any trade agreement; renegotiate existing agreements to meet these standards ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Ensure that America’s trading policies support the transition to clean energy and promote continuous carbon reductions across nations ✔️ ✔️
Increase trade barriers on fossil fuels and products causing or resulting from deforestation practices; lower tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers on climate solutions goods and services ✔️ ✔️
Terminate all Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

Business and Industry

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Rewire the whole economy for sustainability ✔️
Require annual corporate reporting on climate risks, GHG reductions targets, fossil fuel holdings and deforestation-related investments ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Transition funding for businesses conditional on sustainability, democracy and social justice progress ✔️
Spur massive growth in clean manufacturing; remove pollution and GHGs as far as technologically possible by 2030 ✔️
Support manufacturing leadership with an uncapped Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit to incentivize expanding clean energy industries such as wind turbines and batteries; credits conditional on strong worker wages and protections ✔️
Federal ‘Buy Clean’ program for procurement of low carbon materials such as steel, cement, glass, iron, concrete; federal incentives for corporate buyers ✔️
Public funding for technical assistance and skills-training ✔️
Ensure a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies ✔️
Jobs created using public financing to have workers on boards with share of voting power, % of annual profits re-invested in community projects; worker-owned fund ✔️
Make public financed transition to zero-carbon for companies conditional on transformation of industrial and labor practices. ✔️
Public financing to subsidize a 3-year transition to a 4-day week without loss of pay ✔️
Encouragement for transition to more participatory management, workers on board of directors, minimum 33% of votes. ✔️
Employers to place a portion of their equity in a fund for annual worker dividends ✔️
Major award for companies that excel at sustainability and labor transformations, similar to Roosevelt’s Patriot Award in Great Depression. ✔️
Transition to a circular economy throughout the supply chain. DiEM-25: Ecolabelling and green taxes.

BS: Mandate a corporate take-back program for materials recycling

✔️ ✔️
Transitional cap on annual material throughput, tightened every year ✔️
Supply chain management legislation based on principles of global justice and life-cycle thinking ✔️

 Workers, Jobs

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Guarantee decent jobs for all, focused on local and municipal investments. The government as employer of last resort. ✔️ ✔️
Provide a Care Income for full or part-time care work ✔️
Guarantee a job for all people, with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security ✔️ ✔️
Ensure a just transition and guaranteed support for energy workers and communities.

BS: Up to five years wage guarantee, job placement assistance, free four-year college education or vocational training, benefits based on previous salary

JI & EW: Also promote businesses owned by women and people of color; apprenticeships; prevailing wages determined through collective bargaining; community workforce and project-labor agreements

✔️ ✔️ ✔️
A ‘G.I. Bill’ for impacted workers and community coal reinvestment. Shore up and stabilize pension funds; continued guaranteed access to health insurance coverage; access to training. ✔️
Tax credits for clean energy projects; full credit only if employers pay union wages, hire union labor, seek out women- and minority-owned contractors ✔️
Create millions of jobs delivering the transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

BS: Tax credits to hire workers in transition

✔️ ✔️
Ensure that GND creates high quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hire local workers, offer training, guarantee wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Strengthen and protect the right of all workers to organize and unionize. Repeal provisions of the federal Taft-Hartley Act that permit so-called ‘right to work’ laws in states ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Transform large companies by letting workers elect at least 40% of the board to give them a voice in decisions about wages, outsourcing ✔️
Incentivize municipalities to co-enforce labor law and standards such as wage laws by contracting with labor unions and community organizations ✔️
Create a minimum federal clean energy wage averaging $25/hour for skilled workers in federal-funded clean energy/climate solutions jobs ✔️
Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024, pegged to median hourly wage thereafter; modernize overtime rules to properly compensate workers who work more than 40 hours a week ✔️
Just transition, priority on providing assistance to workers and low-income communities, communities of color and workers dependent on fossil fuel, nuclear and weapons industries ✔️

Education and Training

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Fund resources, training and high-quality K-12 and higher education for all people; focus on frontline/ vulnerable communities ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Triple the number of people participating in apprenticeships by 2030 ✔️
Invest in K-12 + higher education STEM and climate change education ✔️
Student loan debt-forgiveness for graduates entering clean energy, sustainability climate science-related jobs. ✔️
JI: Create Climate Corps, putting young people to work on climate solutions, developing skills and training to thrive in new clean energy economy. (a) National Climate Service Corps, learning how to retrofit buildings, install solar panels, etc; (b) Global Climate Service Corps, working overseas with local partners on climate resilience, solutions, clean water, sustainable economic development; (c) Green Careers Network to build a permanent career ladder through investments in skills-training, apprenticeships and on-the-job education. EW: 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps for 10,000 young people ✔️ ✔️

Social and Community Services

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Integrated health and care standards; direct public financing resources to regions with lower standards ✔️
Massive public financed investment in regional and municipal experimentation on new ways to deliver services, encouraging cooperative ownership and collaborative job design (as in Bologna) ✔️
Public financing for dramatic expanded investment in community wealth – community centers, libraries, parks, childcare ✔️ ✔️
Provide all people with high quality health care by 2030 ✔️

Research and Development

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Create National Institutes of Clean Energy. Prioritize research in hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as aviation and shipping and long-duration grid storage. ✔️
Reject geo-engineering ✔️ ✔️
Public investment in R&D for climate solutions, clean and renewable energy technologies and industries ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
R&D to dramatically reduce the cost of energy storage ✔️ ✔️
R&D to reduce the cost of a new EV to $18,000 ✔️
R&D to decarbonize Industry, aviation and shipping by 2050. JI: by 2045 ✔️ ✔️

Public Infrastructure

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Guarantee universal clean air and water for all by 2030 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Public investment in crumbling neighborhood public schools ✔️
Public investment in expansion of broadband infrastructure. DiEM-25: Include community-owned ISPs and platform cooperatives wholly owned by workers. ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Public financing investment in a National Data Commons to unlock the power of aggregated data for the common good ✔️

Banking and Finance

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Transition the financial sector from ecologically destructive model to cooperative democratic model ✔️
Separate commercial and investment banking activities ✔️
Establish public investment banks ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Adopt multi-stakeholder governance for central bank ✔️
Fast-track development of a taxonomy defining sustainable economic activities ✔️
Fast-track agreed criteria for green bonds ✔️
Design global punitive capital requirements for investments in fossil fuel heavy and environmentally destructive projects and businesses ✔️
Legislation and credit guidance to end financing of climate, environmental and social breakdown, require rapid divestment from fossil fuels ✔️
Annual Citizens Dividend, financed by carbon fee and other sources ✔️
Leadership in shutting down the tax havens ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Financial transactions tax to raise finance for climate justice reparations, replace forced borrowing ✔️
Appoint officials to US Securities and Exchange Commission who will prioritize enforcement action and corporate disclosure on climate risk exposure; enforce existing SEC rules, monitor climate risk for insurance companies ✔️
Support investors’ ability to file shareholder proposals on climate change ✔️
Encourage rules requiring US banks to report annually on fossil fuel debt and assets, insurance companies to report on fossil fuel risk premiums ✔️
Reform lending and debt restructuring rules to recognize carbon constraints and the use of oil company reserves as collateral regardless of producibility relative to climate targets ✔️
Enable credit rating agencies to become educated about the physical and financial risks of company investment holdings, to avoid a future climate-driven financial crisis ✔️
Direct the Financial Stability Oversight Council to integrate climate risk into its annual reports ✔️

Local and Regional Economies, Frontline Communities

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Establish a green economy network, enhancing cooperation between cities, regions and rural communities ✔️ ✔️
Public investment in communities impacted by the transition out of fossil fuels; bottom-up locally driven economic and workforce development strategies ✔️ ✔️
Guarantee that 40% or more of federal investments to build a clean energy economy will go to frontline communities facing greater burdens of pollution, income inequity and climate impacts ✔️
Form White House Council on Environmental Justice; Department of Justice Office of Environmental Justice ✔️
Require Community Benefits Agreements to ensure that new investments create broadly shared public value, supporting green buildings, affordable housing, job training and Project Labor Agreements ✔️
Public financing for projects with increased citizen participation in investment decisions, local ownership ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Establish a Transformative Climate Communities Program modeled on California’s. Invest 100% of its funding in building capacity, organizing, developing and implementing sustainability plans led by disadvantaged communities ✔️
Incentives for authorities to set up local public financing agencies with democratic engagement to steer GND investment decisions ✔️
Public funding for community-defined projects and strategies. BS: Special focus on just transition for frontline communities, environmental justice principles, low-income and disadvantaged communities. JI: Relaunch Sustainable Communities Initiative; locally driven bottom-up community development plans ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Direct investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry and businesses, and build wealth and community ownership, especially in frontline and vulnerable communities ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

International

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
Countries with a low or zero carbon price to add export taxes/tariffs on fossil-fuel-based exports ✔️
Offer results of public R&D free/cheap to countries in the Global South ✔️
Use tariffs and import quotas to relocalize manufacturing and support diversified, self-sustainable economies around the world ✔️
Make foreign aid conditional on inclusion of climate and environmental goals ✔️
Promote the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding and services to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal ✔️
Invest $200 billion in UN Green Climate Fund to help less-industrialized countries reduce emissions, goal of 36% below 2017 by 2030 ✔️
Prohibit World Bank, IMF, OECD and other multilateral institutional investment in fossil fuels. Redirect to clean energy ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Work to end all fossil fuel subsidies across the world ✔️
Prioritize climate security in the UN Security Council; appoint an ambassador to the UN who understands the urgency of the climate emergency ✔️
$100 billion over ten years Green Marshall Plan to provide American clean energy technology to developing countries and countries hardest hit by the climate crisis, and as incentive for regulatory changes that reduce emissions. ✔️

Financing the Green New Deal

BS JI EW US

109

GP-US D-25
BS: 16.3 trillion over ten years

JI and EW: $3 trillion over ten years, leveraging $6 trillion in private investment

GP=US: $7-$10 trillion over ten years. $4 trillion for public works program, $2+ trillion for renewable energy transition.

✔️  

✔️

 

✔️

 

 

 

✔️

$90 billion Green Bank for clean energy deployment ✔️
Ultra-Millionaire Tax on America’s 75,000 richest families: $2.75 trillion over ten-years ✔️
Make the fossil fuel industry to pay for its pollution, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, slash military spending dedicated to maintaining global oil dependence, raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and more. ✔️
Public financing: green bonds issued by public banks, purchased by private sector. To ensure that the bonds do not lose their value, the central bank would announce its readiness to purchase them if their yields rise above a certain level, in effect guaranteeing all bonds on the secondary market ✔️
The use of public banks and other public financing ✔️ ✔️
Move away from public-private financing; ensure that decisions about and benefits of public investments remain in public hands ✔️
Establish an Oil Legacy Fund, financed by a tax on the assets of oil and gas companies ✔️
Massively raise taxes on corporate polluters’ and investors’ fossil fuel income and wealth; penalties for fossil fuel pollution ✔️

The analysis speaks for itself, but having spent three days immersed in the various plans I will share a few observations.

Taken together, the scope and depth of these proposals is tremendous. They indicate a clear consensus about the changes that are needed and the urgency which which they are needed. This is really encouraging. Now we need to elect progressive politicians in large numbers so that they can overcome the opposition and make the plans a reality. Having said that, however, most plans for a GND have limitations:

Ecological Emergency

Only DiEM-25 acknowledges that we are facing an ecological emergency as well as a climate emergency. We are a long way from a proper understanding of the policies and measures needed to tackle this parallel emergency.

The Power of Central Banks

Only DiEM-25 understands the ability of a central bank to fund some or all of a Green New Deal. This can be done both directly, using its ability to print money to tackle the climate emergency just as it did in 2008 to save the banks, and indirectly, through the sale of a variety of tax-free green bonds, their market value being guaranteed for investors by the Central Bank’s use  of its money-creating powers to guarantee the purchase of the bonds as necessary, eliminating risk of bond worthlessness. We’re talking about Green Quantitative Easing or Quantitative Easing for People. In America, action is needed in Congress to scrap the 1930s legislation that Wall Street lobbied for that prohibits the Federal Reserve from creating money for the common good, and to harness the Fed’s money creation and lending powers to help finance major public objectives. In Europe, the indication is that if the British government or the European Commission were to say so, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank could act accordingly.

The Power of Public Banks

Similarly, only DiEM-25 and Congress 109 appreciate the essential role of public banks, and their ability to create money for loans at zero or very low interest. This is how Germany has been financing its building retrofit program, through the publicly-owned KfW Development Bank. Ellen Brown and the movement for public banking in the US understand this well, but the politicians seemingly do not.

Community Engagement

None of the GNDs appears to have understood the importance of community-wide engagement, both to increase understanding of the emergencies among the public, where it is often dim or non-existent, and to overcome the propaganda of the climate-denying media, and to take personal actions to reduce our emissions in our homes, schools and businesses. GND policies are needed to remove barriers and create incentives, but full mobilization will require widespread citizen engagement. In World War II, in Britain, victory would not have been possible without the millions of people who volunteered to help the Red Cross, the YMCA, the Women’s Voluntary Service, the St John Ambulance Brigade, Oxfam, and the Home Guard, which by June 1940 had 1.5 million volunteers on its list. The GND needs to provide funding and support for a similar level of community engagement.

Annual Emissions Reductions Targets

None of the GNDs has recognized the need for legally binding legislation that requires a government to achieve annual reductions according to a fixed carbon budget, as Britain has legislated. Distant goals induce bureaucratic and political sleepiness, so personal financial consequences will be needed for all members of a cabinet which collectively misses the goals.

Cycling

None of the proposed GNDs give the attention needed to cycling as a serious means of future transportation and urban calming.

Forests

Only Jay Inslee seems to have appreciated the importance of carbon sequestration and storage in forests, and the need for widespread changes to forest management practices. Inslee doesn’t mention ending the ecologically harmful, carbon-destroying practice of clearcutting, but that’s what’s needed.

Tree-Planting

None of the GNDs emphasizes the importance of planting trees to sequestrate carbon. Bernie Sanders mentions it only in passing, as a youth activity.

Meat and Dairy

Only DiEM-25 is willing to tackle the problem of meat and dairy, the production of which is responsible for 15% of global emissions. The others all shy away.

Oceans and Fisheries

Only DiEM-25 includes plans for a sustainable ocean and fisheries, and for blue carbon capture in the oceans

The Other GHGs

Only Jay Inslee includes plans to reduce HFCs, nitrous oxide and black carbon. None of the plans addresses the need to eliminate SF6, sulfur hexafluoride, a heat-trapping gas that is 23,500 times more powerful than CO2, and is used widely in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents.

Flying

None of the GNDs references the proposal for a frequent flyer levy to reduce aviation emissions, with one flight per person per year being free of the levy, as the New Economics Foundation in Britain has proposed.

Economic Growth

And finally, none of the GNDs wants to dip its toes in the troubled waters of questioning future economic growth, or how a future without growth could still bring prosperity and wellbeing.

In Conclusion

This analysis says nothing about the technical viability of plans to generate 100% of electricity by 2030, reduce emissions by 50-60% by 2030, or achieve full decarbonization by 2050. Most of the plans reference sources, but here is not the place to discuss them. Nor does the analysis say anything about the political viability of the proposals, or the democratic challenges ahead. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both expressed clear understanding elsewhere of the need to remove corruption and the power of money from US politics, clearing the field for strong healthy democracy. Europe faces similar and different challenges.

I have done this analysis before reading Ann Pettifor’s newly published The Case for a Green New Deal, or Naomi Klein’s newly published On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal. When I have read them, I will update this analysis accordingly.

If the creators of the GNDs wish to make corrections or additions, I welcome that. You can contact me at guydauncey at earthfuture dot com.

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Six Green New Deals: How Do They Compare?

  1. As always Guy, thanks for your work. Very helpful and I look forward to your analysis of GND initiatives in Canada and the federal parties’ platforms.

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