Seeing Green: Warren Envisions Jobs & Progress in Climate Work

(CN) — Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says she sees great opportunity in the climate crisis, and promised not to leave anyone behind in a U.S. transition to a green economy.

“While climate change presents an urgent threat, it also presents the greatest opportunity of our time: the chance to rebuild our economy with 100% clean energy, to address the racial and economic inequality embedded in our fossil fuel economy, and to create millions of good, union jobs in the process,” the Massachusetts senator wrote Friday, releasing a green jobs plan on her website.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., right, speaks beside South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg during a Democratic presidential primary debate Thursday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Warren added that the country has faced massive threats and achieved the seemingly impossible before, and must do so again in the face of the climate crisis.

“From World War II to the space race, American ingenuity has risen to meet seemingly impossible challenges — leading the world and unleashing economic benefits for Americans in the process,” she wrote. “Today we face a new challenge.” 

The U.S. needs to act fast, New Deal-style, to transform its infrastructure, rebuild the energy grid and reform transportation, the candidate continued, also noting the need for resiliency systems to protect us from the effects of climate change.

Warren again expressed her support for the Green New Deal, and pledged to invest in engineers, contractors and construction workers, as well as the first responders and health care workers who step in after weather disasters. She promised to create 10.6 million new union jobs and offshore wind jobs, and to rebuild the middle class. Warren also promised not to leave fossil fuel workers in the dust, pledging to hold their employers accountable and retrain workers who might otherwise be out of work during a green shift.

An overhaul of the country’s transportation infrastructure would create 2.6 million new jobs, Warren estimated. She also proposed a new Build Green program to expand the country’s public transportation system, which she said would be paid for by closing corporate loopholes. Another goal she admits is “bold and ambitious” is to make all light- and medium-duty vehicles electric by 2030.

Renewing and upgrading the country’s water infrastructure is on Warren’s agenda as well, along with ensuring safe drinking water and creating 190,000 union jobs.

She also called for inclusive green housing infrastructure, a green bank and green victory bonds, loans to the government that would be redeemed with interest. 

Her plan Friday echoes one she released in October about climate justice. 

“America has a long and proud history of rising to the challenges that have faced this country — and defeating the climate crisis is no exception,” Warren wrote.

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