Energy & Environment

Warren Releases $2 Trillion Green-Jobs Plan

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions legislative conference in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday released a green-jobs plan that would require a $2 trillion investment over the next ten years.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who is competing in a crowded field for the Democratic presidential nomination, said her “economic patriotism” proposal would spearhead the implementation of the Green New Deal.

“Today, climate change poses both an existential threat and a scientific challenge. We already see its effects — record floods, devastating wildfires, 100-year storms that happen every year — costing lives and billions of dollars in damage,” Warren wrote in a blog post.

But even if the Green New Deal’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2030 were achieved, it would not be enough to avert the global “climate crisis,” she warned.

“To satisfy this global need, we need rapid innovation on par with the space race along with widespread domestic and international adoption of clean, renewable, and emission-free energy technology,” Warren said. “We should bank on American ingenuity and American workers to lead the global effort to face down this threat — and create more than a million good jobs here at home.”

Over the next decade, the Green Manufacturing Plan would provide $400 billion for clean-energy research and development, and $1.5 trillion for purchasing U.S.-manufactured clean-energy products for export as well as federal, state, and local use.

Roughly the same amount, $1.5 trillion, is earmarked for defense spending over the next ten years, an outsize amount according to Warren, so at least that amount should be dedicated to combating climate change, she argued.

Warren also wants to set up a federal office to export American-made clean-energy technology and dedicate another $100 billion to help other countries buy and use that technology.

Companies granted a federal contract under the plan would have to produce all their clean-energy products in the U.S., set a minimum wage of $15, allow employees to unionize, and grant them three months of paid family and medical leave.

The team of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who introduced the Green New Deal, responded to Warren’s plan in a statement, saying it does not go far enough.

It’s exciting to see industrial policy in Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s plan,” Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, said. “But we should go beyond just using the power of federal procurement. Just like in World War 2, we should use federal loans and investment to drive this, helping industries to transition to become GHH-neutral and creating whole new industries necessary for the new economy.”

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