As Wikipedia explains the term “Green New Deal” was by first used by journalist Thomas Friedman. He argued in favour of the idea in two pieces that appeared in The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine. In January 2007, Friedman wrote:
If you have put a windmill in your yard or some solar panels on your roof, bless your heart. But we will only green the world when we change the very nature of the electricity grid – moving it away from dirty coal or oil to clean coal and renewables. And that is a huge industrial project – much bigger than anyone has told you. Finally, like the New Deal, if we undertake the green version, it has the potential to create a whole new clean power industry to spur our economy into the 21st century.
This approach was subsequently taken up by the Green New Deal Group, which published its eponymous report on July 21, 2008. The concept was further popularized and put on a wider footing when the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) began to promote it.Other organisations supporting a Green New Deal initiative include 350.org, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Extinction Rebellion and Friends of the Earth.
In the USA, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey have been pushing for legislation for transitioning the United States to use 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources, including investment into electric cars and high-speed rail systems, and implementing the “social cost of carbon” that has been part of the Obama administration’s plans for addressing climate change within 10 years. Besides increasing state-sponsored jobs, this Green New Deal is also aimed to address poverty by aiming much of the improvements in the “frontline and vulnerable communities” which include the poor and disadvantaged people. To gain additional support, the resolution includes calls for universal health care, increased minimum wages, and preventing monopolies.
In this video Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains the history of the New Green Deal and why it is so important in combating environmental and climate change. The video is a great basis for discussion around future policies for the circular economy