Before Earth Day on April 22nd, the Green Party of the United States called on President Biden to take more substantial steps to fight climate change. The Party criticized the president’s goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030, citing that this approach is too conservative to slow the climate catastrophe. 

Green Party leaders are demanding that Biden formally declare a climate emergency and mobilize resources to protect current and future generations. According to the organization, there are only seven years left before worldwide greenhouse gas emissions surpass the limit needed to keep warming below a crucial threshold. If this threshold is passed, it will trigger disastrous climate change. 

Biden’s climate change plan

While the Biden administration has taken steps to address climate change, the Green Party argues that the president’s approach barely scratches the surface. On April 22nd, the Green Party responded to the president’s announcement that the U.S. would be rejoining the Paris Agreement. 

“Paris Climate Treaty is inadequate to address the climate change crisis. The pledges are not mandatory, the treaty does not require a phase-out of fossil fuels, and it delays higher aid levels for poorer nations until 2025” 

Leader of the Green Party, Howie Hawkins notes that Biden’s plan focuses on corporate welfare through subsidies and tax incentives. Hawkins warns that these tactics will have unpredictable effects at a leisure pace in the market. Furthermore, the plan does little to stop oil and gas fracking, pipelines for gas-fired power plants, or shut down coal-fired power plants. 

The ecosocialist Green New Deal

In place of the current climate change plan, the Green Party of the United States proposes an ecosocialist Green New Deal. Hawkins developed the Green New Deal in 2010 with the aim of combining an Economic Bill of Rights with a Green Economy Reconstruction Program.  

The Economic Bill of Rights stems from President Roosevelt’s 1944 call to congress to secure basic economic human rights for all. The bill includes a job guarantee, a basic income guarantee, homes for all in walkable communities, national health services, lifelong free public education, and a secure retirement. The Economic Bill of Rights will be accomplished through ongoing programs of public provisions and a 10 to 20-year plan of public capital investment. 

The Green Economy Reconstruction Program aims to build a 100% clean energy system by 2020 and reconstruct all economic sectors for ecological sustainability. This program involves implementing an interstate renewable electricity system, an interstate high-speed rail system, green buildings, an interstate high-speed internet system, green manufacturing, zero-waste recycling, and more. 

To pay for the Green New Deal, the Green Party advocates for cuts to military spending and tax loopholes. The organization also proposes progressive tax reform. This reform includes cuts to corporate welfare and the creation of a corporate asset tax, a progressive wealth tax, and a progressive estate tax. Additionally, the party proposes to expand ecological taxes and to nationalize the biggest banks and the Federal Reserve.

The Green Party of the United States has been vocal in arguing that it’s too late for a gradual approach to climate change. Hawkins warns that between now and 2050, the world will face mass extinctions, food shortages, collapsing land and water ecosystems, and hundreds of millions of climate refugees. Climate activists are urging Biden to implement stronger measures to slow the climate catastrophe. 

Erika Mackenzie

Erika is working towards a Bachelor of Arts Degree from McGill University in Sociology with a double minor in International Development and Communications. Erika's passions include environmental protection, racial and gender equality, Indigenous rights, and affordability for all. Erika has also been published in the McGill Tribune and HuffPost Canada.

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