Resolution in Support of The Green New Deal
We, the Elder Activists for Social Justice, of the Elders Action Network, resolve to actively support the Green New Deal introduced into the 2019 Congress
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that we have just over a decade to get carbon emissions under control before catastrophic climate change impacts become unavoidable.
As Elders, we recognize this escalating planetary crisis that threatens our ecological and cultural well being as an inevitable consequence of humanity's lost reverence for life. We feel our moral responsibility to leave a thriving and healthy environment our children, grandchildren and future generations; and raise our voices
We therefore support the immediate transition to a 100% clean and renewable energy by the year 2030 that will be a critical step towards achieving a thriving and healthy environment for our descendants. We raise our voices to protect our beautiful Mother Earth and to secure clean air and water, a stable climate, healthy food, and access to nature for generations to come.
As Elders, we respect and care for the interconnected community of Life. We advocate for ecological integrity, social, racial and economic justice and peaceful coexistence for all people, for all species, for all time; and stand in solidarity with all those on the frontlines in their struggle for justice and Earth care.
We therefore affirm our support for a just transition for all communities and workers to ensure economic security for the people and communities that have historically relied on fossil fuels by creating millions of family supporting–wage union jobs.
As Elders, we humbly work to emerge from under the historical and current mindset of domination and extraction, in order to bring about awareness, reconciliation, healing, and transformative change. We seek to stand in solidarity with the most impacted, their descendants and those on the frontlines, and as we listen to their stories of suffering and endurance.
We therefore support the promotion of justice and equity by preventing current and repairing historic oppressions to frontline and vulnerable communities by guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, labor protections, and retirement security to all members of our society.
As Elders, we know that it is our responsibility to use our life experience, wisdom, resources and energy to speak, stand and act for the welfare of all the community.
We therefore resolve to work with the young activists of the Sunrise Movement whose future is imperiled, and with all others, as we actively speak with our elected officials so that they will support and bring to fruition the passage of the Green New Deal and the accompanying legislative bills that are necessary to bring forth the thriving and just future we know is possible for all our children and for all life.
As Elders, particularly if we self-identify as "white", are committed to listening to those most affected by the current harms of this world, including frontline communities and Indigenous peoples and those historically oppressed by systems of white supremacy and patriarchy.
We, therefore resolve to support the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance in outlining issues in the Green New Deal that they believe will leave incentives by industries and governments to continue causing harm. Specifically:
Indigenous Environmental Network statement:
Without a direct enunciation of: 1) a clear commitment to keeping fossil fuels underground; 2) rejecting carbon pricing mechanisms including forest, conservation and biodiversity carbon offsets as an unjust and false solution that ultimately destroys the climate, forests, ecosystems, and communities; 3) strengthen the language on Tribes, Indigenous Peoples and communities; and 4) the fundamental need to challenge and transform the current dominant political and economic systems that are driving forest destruction, social injustice and the climate crisis; the AOC-Markey platform risks being an exercise in futility and could actually allow for increased emissions and global warming. We demand that fossil fuels be kept underground and that the subsidies and tax breaks that keep the fossil fuel industry viable be shifted towards a clear, grassroots-based Just Transition.
Climate Justice Alliance statement:
“The Climate Justice Alliance welcomes the bold Green New Deal initiative from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Members of Congress; however, to truly address the interlinked crises of a faltering democracy, growing wealth disparity and community devastation caused by climate change and industrial pollution, we must reduce emissions at their source. Allowing for neoliberal constructs such as Net Zero emissions, which equate carbon emission offsets and technology investments with real emissions reductions at source, would only exacerbate existing pollution burdens on frontline communities. Such loopholes for carbon markets and unproven techno-fixes only serve to line the coffers of the polluting corporations, while increasing (not reducing) harm to our communities. Our communities can no longer be used as sacrifice zones.”
Therefore, we offer this Resolution, on March 21, 2019, to stand with the Green New Deal for a just transition to 1005 renewable energy within 12 years – the timeframe set by the world’s leading climate scientists.
Dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources;
building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country;
eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrading water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water;
funding massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases;
making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely greenhouse gas neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.
The scope of the project presents a historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation. To make sure this happens, the Green New Deal specifically aims to:
provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one;
diversify local and regional economies, with a particular focus on communities where the fossil fuel industry holds significant control over the labor market, to ensure workers have the necessary tools, opportunities, and economic assistance to succeed during the energy transition;
require strong enforcement of labor, workplace safety, and wage standards that recognize the rights of workers to organize and unionize free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment, and creation of meaningful, quality, career employment;
ensure a ‘just transition’ for all workers, low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harmincluding by ensuring that local implementation of the transition is led from the community level and by prioritizing solutions that end the harms faced by front-line communities from climate change and environmental pollution;
protect and enforce sovereign rights and land rights of tribal nations;
mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, deindustrialized or other marginalized communities in such a way that builds wealth and ownership at the community level);
include additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism; and
deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment.