Is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez unreasonable

Green New Deal: What's behind the concept, what's the point?

Green New Deal in one sentence, please.

The cards of the economic and social system are to be reshuffled so that an ecological turnaround succeeds and the worst consequences of the climate crisis are prevented.

Where did the idea come from?

The original New Deal is now quite old: In response to the Great Depression, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented a bundle of reforms in 1933 to stimulate the economy and fight poverty. It wasn't a single law that brought back prosperity; there were many projects: banks were regulated, jobs were created with the construction of bridges, roads and airports, and the social system was strengthened.

Similarly, there is no single miracle law against climate change, wrote US economist Thomas Friedman in 2007 New York Times and on this occasion made the term Green New Deal (GND) known. The GND only recently reached the general public's awareness: when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey, Democrats in the US Congress, presented a plan to the Senate in March.

What are the followers asking for?

Each group has different ideas, but everyone demands great solutions, many of them - and please quickly! After all, mankind only has a good ten years to avert the worst consequences of the climate catastrophe. Not just anyone says that, the UN says it.

But the GND is not just about the environment. Justice for the climate and people go hand in hand, say the supporters. The investments for this should come from the state - in the style of the Keynesian-inspired "old" New Deal.

What distinguishes the GND from other calls for more climate protection?

The GND is not only about passing green laws, but also about establishing a new "green economic system". The supporters of the GND do not dwell on technical details about emission certificates and heat recovery systems, they are demanding justice and social change on a large scale.

And in Austria?

In this country, the SPÖ in particular has used the term. The Socialist Youth has drawn up a GND for Europe, which is included in the EU election program. The key points: an EU-wide CO2 tax, a European network of high-speed railways and no more trade agreements with countries that do not adhere to the Paris climate protection agreement. At the same time, the SPÖ wants guaranteed jobs, financed by the state in an emergency. The demands of the Greens are largely congruent.

In February, 22 organizations called on the federal government to finally tackle the 1.5 degree target. The supporters: environmental NGOs, trade unions, humanitarian and church associations.

And elsewhere in Europe?

The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), led by the Greek ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, is also calling for a GND for Europe. Specifically: 500 billion are to flow from public investment banks into sustainable projects. The European Central Bank is supposed to loosen cheap loans for this.

What do the critics say?

Too expensive, too radical, too little radical, too optimistic, too unrealistic, too risky - these are arguments that Roosevelt had to listen to. "They call it fascism, communism or socialism," countered the US president at the time. "They are only trying to make something very complicated and theoretical out of something that is actually quite simple and concrete." (pp, lima, May 21, 2019)