Can the Green New Deal Combat Climate Change? | WYPR

Can the Green New Deal Combat Climate Change?

Feb 19, 2019

Credit COURTESY NASA

Today, it’s Midday on the Environment. Last fall, a United Nations climate change report and the U.S. National Climate Assessment estimated that in just 10 years, global warming will begin to trigger changes in the world’s climate that are more severe, more costly and more catastrophic than any we’ve seen thus far.

For decades, scientists and activists have been urging the world’s governments to work together to address this global crisis. The U.S. withdrawal last year from the Paris Climate Accord, and the Trump administration’s dismantling of an array of environmental regulations has, in some ways, galvanized the environmental movement to step up its efforts. 

Earlier this month, freshman Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts introduced a joint resolution they call the Green New Deal. They describe it as an economic, social and political manifesto for more aggressive steps to mitigate climate change. 

What is the Green New Deal? Is it the best way to address the climate change crisis?  Tom is joined, both in the studio and on the line, by three climate policy experts. 

Bob Sussman was senior policy counsel to the EPA administrator during the Obama Administration, and a former EPA deputy administrator during the first two years of the Clinton administration. He is a consultant on energy and environmental policy.

Julian Brave NoiseCat is a U.S. environmental policy analyst at 350.org, a nonprofit that’s been working to put the brakes on carbon emissions and slow global warming. 350.org worked with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's office and other stakeholders to help launch the Green New Deal campaign and draft its resolution.  Bob and Julian join us from NPR studios in Washington, DC. 

Tom Pelton is an environmental author and activist who hosts "The Environment in Focus" program here on WYPR.  He joins Tom in Studio A.