With the rise of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the “Green New Deal” has become part of nearly everyone’s vernacular. Although the Green Party first formulated a Green New Deal in 2006, the term did not go mainstream until Ocasio-Cortez championed climate change legislation and introduced her own legislative proposal.
Capitalizing on the now ubiquitous name, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced his own Green New Deal as part of his executive budget. The governor had previously set ambitious energy and climate goals, but his new plan goes further. Here’s how the two plans compare.
Clean energy and emissions goals
Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions
100% of U.S. power demand from clean, renewable resources
Remove greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from the manufacturing industry
Remove greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as possible
Overhaul transportation to remove greenhouse gas emissions and pollution where feasible
Remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere
100% clean power generation with renewable energy mandates.
9,000 megawatts of energy from offshore wind by 2035
6,000 megawatts of energy from solar by 2025
3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030
Develop a plan to make New York carbon neutral
Create a “climate action council” to study transportation, buildings, electricity, industry commercial activity and agriculture
AOC: Create millions of high-paying jobs.
Cuomo: Invest $1.5 billion in clean technology.
Invest in infrastructure to be more sustainable
Building infrastructure resilient to climate-change related disasters
Repairing and upgrading U.S. infrastructure
Building energy-efficient “smart” power grids
Secure for all Americans clean water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to water and a sustainable environment
Promoting justice and equity for historically underserved or oppressed communities, including indigenous peoples, people of color, immigrants and low-income workers
Ensure a just transition to a clean energy economy
Codifying the Environmental Justice and Just Transition Working Group into law
$70 million property tax compensation fund to help communities transition to clean energy
Protecting labor rights in the clean energy sector
100% clean power generation by 2040 and no time frame for other goals
Type of government action
Ocasio-Cortez introduced her Green New Deal as a congressional resolution, which means it would have no force of law. Instead, it presents a roadmap of ideas. Her plan would require extensive, currently unwritten, legislation to carry it out.
Cuomo introduced his Green New Deal in his executive budget as a package of legislation, which would give every goal the power of statute.
The Green New Deal has come to a vote once in the U.S. Senate as a political move
by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to force Democrats’ hands before any committee hearings were held. Every member voted either against it or “present,” which counts as a “no” vote. Most Democrats voted “present” as part of a strategy lead by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
The legislation did not make it into the final state budget, meaning that none of his proposals currently exist in statute.
While climate change has emerged as a key issue for 2020 presidential candidates, many Republicans openly ridicule
Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal, and the future of her resolution remains uncertain even among Democrats who agree action must be taken to address climate change.
Some version of Cuomo’s goals may become reality, as many Democrats in the state would readily support ambitious climate goals.
The state Legislature is reviewing the Climate and Community Protection Act
, which would, among other things, codify versions of Cuomo’s previously established climate goals.
The state Legislature also has a bill to create a Green New Deal task force
to develop a plan to address climate change and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.