Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal blueprint is released: What to know

Since entering the political foray, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made climate change a cornerstone of her agenda, embracing the notion of a Green New Deal.

And on Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., unveiled their Green New Deal resolution, broad legislation  -- modeled after New Deal-era programs -- that promotes a significantly expanded federal role in reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

But that’s not the only demand included in the resolution, the framework of which was posted online by NPR on Thursday.

Ocasio-Cortez and Markey laid out expansive proposals to not only aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades, but to guarantee millions of “good, high-wage jobs” while ensuring economic security for all Americans.

The resolution also calls for huge investments in climate-friendly infrastructure, in addition to protections for indigenous people, communities of color, the poor and others considered to be a part of a “vulnerable community.”

Other notable goals proposed in the resolution include:

  • ”Building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability.”
  • Spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the U.S., while also overhauling the U.S. transportation system to promote clean energy.
  • "High-quality health care" for all Americans.

Left unclear, however, is how much the massive undertaking would cost the federal government, or what type of energy the country would rely on instead of greenhouse gasses -- i.e. whether renewable energy will need to be supplemented by other power sources, like nuclear or fossil fuels with carbon capture and sequestration.

The Democratic representatives will hold a press conference on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. to announce the names of some of the deal’s backers; already, Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren -- all of whom have made their 2020 presidential intentions clear -- have reportedly sponsored the legislation, according to Axios.

What happens next is unclear. Some of the ideas in the deal -- like the initiative to be carbon-neutral within 10 years -- are aggressive, NPR noted.


But it’s a loose, non-binding resolution that doesn’t necessarily specify how the proposals will be implemented; instead, it puts into place a blueprint that could be vital in establishing a conversation on climate change at the federal level. It’s also unlikely to pass even the Democratic-controlled House, whose majority still includes a number of moderate Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already dinged the deal. On Wednesday, Pelosi told Politico that it will be “one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”