New Congress Members See Climate Solutions and Jobs in a Green New Deal

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Sunrise Movement and other outspoken supporters want to avoid what they see as a fatal misstep of past climate efforts: setting the bar too low.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has led the push for a Green New Deal along with the youth-filled Sunrise Movement. Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was being sworn in on Jan. 3 with the new Congress, has led the push for a Green New Deal along with the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate activist movement that formed shortly after Donald Trump’s election. Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

The idea that climate action must be bound up in the drive for economic justice is at least as old as the pledges nations made at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. But young U.S. activists have supercharged that concept in the campaign for a Green New Deal, hoping to blow past political barriers that have thwarted more timid proposals of the past.

“This is going to be the Great Society, the moon shot, the Civil Rights Movement of our generation,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the 29-year-old freshman lawmaker who has helped force the Green New Deal into the political spotlight. MORE

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