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A Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy: An Open Letter and Call to Action to Members of Congress

A Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy: An Open Letter and Call to Action to Members of Congress

Full Title: A Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy: An Open Letter and Call to Action to Members of Congress
Author(s): Daniel Kammen, Johanna Bozuwa, J. Mijin Cha, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Billy Fleming, Jim Goodman, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Mark Paul, Raj Patel, Thea Riofrancos
Publisher(s): Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL)
Publication Date: March 23, 2020
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

As a nation we face three con­verg­ing crises: the COVID19 pan­demic and the result­ing eco­nomic reces­sion; the cli­mate emer­gency; and extreme inequality.

Unem­ploy­ment is ris­ing at the fastest rate since the 2008 crash, and could even­tu­ally reach 20% — twice as high as the Great Reces­sion. We needimme­di­ate and sus­tained inter­ven­tion to pro­tect people’s health and eco­nomic well-​​being, with a spe­cial focus on the most vul­ner­a­ble. We must also begin plan­ning our eco­nomic recov­ery in a way that pro­tects us from the impact of cli­mate change and lifts up work­ers and front­line communities.

Many other groups are focused on the emer­gency stim­u­lus pack­age to sta­bi­lize our econ­omy, on pre­vent­ing harm in an equi­table way — which we fully sup­port — so this let­ter focuses on the longer-​​term chal­lenge of jump­start­ing eco­nomic recov­ery and tran­si­tion­ing to a more sus­tain­able econ­omy. The ques­tion isn’t whether we will next need a major eco­nomic recov­ery stim­u­lus, but what kind of stim­u­lus should we pur­sue? In response we, cli­mate and social pol­icy experts in acad­e­mia and civil soci­ety, have devel­oped a menu of solu­tions that would col­lec­tively com­prise a Green Stimulus.

The United States con­fronts the dan­ger of an eco­nomic stim­u­lus that restores — or even deep­ens — our reliance on fos­sil fuels. This dan­ger comes from explicit pro­pos­als to bail out the fos­sil fuel sec­tor and roll back work­ers’ rights, and also from generic gen­eral stim­u­lus poli­cies that do not take cli­mate into account. Indeed, infra­struc­ture spend­ing as usual — e.g. high­way expan­sion — will lock in more car­bon pol­lu­tion for decades. We can avoid these prob­lems by craft­ing a recov­ery that accel­er­ates the cre­ation of a 21st cen­tury green economy.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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