A Green New Deal for New Mexico

The Congressional Text

As introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria [D-NY-14] in February 2019, the text of the Green New Deal can be found at Congress.gov. Below are it’s essential elements.

The Essential Elements

The entire world achieves net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This means that atmospheric CO2 levels would no longer increase at that point. Temperatures would probably continue to increase for some time but would begin to stabilize.

The United States must take a “leading role” in achieving ‘Net-Zero’. We expect the US will have to return to the Paris Climate Accord and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

The US federal government must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating high-paying jobs, ensuring that clean air, clean water and healthy food are basic human rights, and end all forms of oppression.

The plan calls for:

  • the launch of a “10-year mobilization” to reduce carbon emissions in the United States
  • sourcing 100 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable and zero-emissions power
  • digitizing the nation’s power grid
  • upgrading every building in the country to be more energy-efficient
  • overhauling the nation’s transportation system by investing in electric vehicles and high-speed rail.

A Just Transition

The resolution says it is the duty of the government to provide job training and new economic development, particularly to communities that currently rely on jobs in fossil fuel industries.

What does this mean for New Mexico

There appear to be a number of emerging initiatives that are addressing what a Green New Deal for New Mexico would look like. As of late 2019, there doesn’t appear to be a single consensus generating version.

We believe that action on this front with bills, memorandums and resolutions presented to the New Mexico legislation will be an important if not vital influence on the lives of New Mexicans for decades to come.

Note that the Energy Transition Act SB 489, signed by governor Michelle Lujan Grishom on March 22, 2019, has been referred to as a mini-Green New Deal by some. While important in mandating that New Mexico electricity providers get 80 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2040, and 100 percent from carbon-free sources by 2045, there are other aspects of the bill, mostly regarding who pays for what, still being challenged.