In the US and the U.K., the Green New Deal movement has galvanized hope for transitioning to the more equitable zero carbon world we so desperately need to address poverty and keep global average temperatures to below 1.5°C. But there has also been criticism of an apparent initial focus on jobs in “every town and city across the U.K.”, rather than on transformational justice globally. The challenge for Green New Deal advocates is to recognize the historical roots of the climate crisis, and avoid being the PR face of ongoing climate colonialism.
In a challenge to current inadequate emissions reductions targets (80 percent by 2050), Green New Deal supporters are calling for Britain to go “zero carbon by 2030”, alongside addressing the social and economic impacts of neoliberalism and inequitable deindustrialization in many parts of the U.K.. Such plans could radically reduce poverty rates and low-paid precarious work across the country, and could be designed to address the fact that poor people and people of color are disproportionately negatively impacted by environmental pollution.
But it can’t stop there. Nathan Thanki argues that a Green New Deal cannot be allowed to be “eco-socialism for [us] and barbarism for the rest of the world”. Thanki argues for a larger transformation of the structure of our energy, housing, food, transport, and health systems, alongside de-growth. And Yanis Varoufakis and David Adler propose an International Green New Deal that would fund a transition to renewable energy and commit to providing climate reparations and energy based on need rather than means or geography.
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