Humanity has a limited window in which it can hope to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The IPCC reports that averting climate chaos will require carbon emissions to be cut by 45 percent by 2030. Achieving this target within 10 years necessitates “rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure and industrial systems …unprecedented in terms of scale” (IPCC, 2018). In other words, the age of incrementalism is over.
Nothing short of radical economy-wide transformative actions will be sufficient. Attempting to meet this challenge, US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey introduced the Green New Deal Resolution. The Green New Deal is the first climate proposal, which is commensurate with the nature and scale of the climate crisis. Its chief aims are to radically decarbonize the US economy while significantly reducing economic inequality.
In this multi-disciplinary panel, we bring together three climate, politics, and labor experts to discuss the significance of a Green New Deal, it’s political challenges and opportunities, and it’s potential for addressing the climate emergency and tackling economic inequality.
Joey Wolongevicz, Geography and Sustainability Major, Salem State University, Founder Sunrise Salem.
- Noel Healy is an associate professor in the geography and sustainability department at Salem State University. Professor Healy works on the intersection between rapid climate mitigation, fossil fuel politics, just transitions, and climate equity. He is a contributing author for the IPCC 6th Assessment Report and on the editorial board for Energy Research and Social Science. Dr. Healy is co-author of the article The Green New Deal in the US: What it is and how to pay for it. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Scientific American, and The Conversation.
- Alyssa Battistoni is an environmental fellow at Harvard University. Professor Battistoni is a political theorist working at the intersection between environmental politics, political economy, and feminist thought. Her academic work has been published in Political Theory and Contemporary Political Theory, and her writing has appeared in The Guardian, n+1,The Nation, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Jacobin, where she is a member of the editorial board. She is an associate faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal.
- Avi Chomsky is a historian who has taught at Salem State University since 1997. She has published numerous books on immigration, the Cuban revolution, labor history, and the impact of extractivism and economic development in Colombia and globally. Her current research focuses on the social and environmental impact of coal mining and indigenous resistance in Colombia.