Quantcast

Inslee's 'Evergreen Economy Plan' Calls for $9 Trillion Investment in New Green Jobs, Would Help Fossil Fuel Workers Transition

Politics
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 2 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A new climate action plan put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is being praised for highlighting the enormous benefits that would result from a rapid shift in the U.S. to a renewable energy economy that centers on the needs of workers and vulnerable communities.


Inslee unveiled his "Evergreen Economy Plan" at a press conference in Washington, DC, calling for a $9 trillion investment in green jobs over 10 years, which he said would create eight million well-paying jobs for Americans as the country mobilizes to create a carbon-neutral economy.

The green economy plan would create "high-paying, high-skilled jobs building a stronger, healthier, more just, inclusive and sustainable future," Inslee's 38-page proposal reads. It would also protect collective bargaining power for unions; ensure a "just transition" and jobs for fossil fuel workers; and mandate employers follow guidelines for gender pay parity.

"Inslee is right to recognize that moving off fossil fuels isn't just imperative for our climate, it's a massive economic opportunity," said Charlie Jiang, a campaigner with Greenpeace USA. "We have the chance right now to create millions of new, family-sustaining jobs in the renewable energy economy, a chance our next president cannot afford to pass up. Most importantly, Inslee's plan recognizes that the workers being exploited by the fossil fuel industry and those on the frontlines of climate disasters should be the first to benefit."

"We are never shackled to the past," Inslee said at the press conference. "We are never shackled to the technologies of centuries ago. We always invent the future because it is in our nature to invent, to create, to build."

The governor also announced the plan in a video posted to social media.

"The proposal lays out a five-pronged strategy to launch an unprecedented deployment of renewable energy, fortify the nation's infrastructure to cope with climate change, spur a clean-tech manufacturing boom, increase federal research funding fivefold," Alexander Kaufman reported at HuffPost.

By spending $300 billion per year, the plan states, another $600 billion in economic activity will be generated.

The Evergreen Economy Plan builds on Inslee's first climate action proposal — the "100 Percent Clean Energy for America Plan" — which he unveiled earlier this month. The plan outlined how the governor would ensure all newly-built vehicles and buildings are carbon pollution-free by 2030 and that all utilities in the U.S. run with zero carbon emissions by 2035.

The earlier proposal was met with enthusiasm from climate action groups who called on Inslee to continue to "push the envelope." A number of campaigners applauded the Evergreen Economy Plan for doing just that.

350.org co-founder Bill McKibben praised the proposal as "really powerful and comprehensive."

"This charts a workable path forward," he tweeted.

Daniel Kammen, a contributor to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — which last year released a report warning that world governments must sharply reduce carbon emissions and shift toward renewable energy sources immediately, or the crisis will be irreversible by 2030 — also praised Thursday's plan.

"It is not only vital for our environment, but it is a recipe for more affordable housing and vibrant communities, good-paying jobs, corporate and municipal accountability, and global leadership for the United States," Kammen told The Guardian.

Earlier this week, progressives warned against climate action proposals like the one Joe Biden teased but has yet to unveil, described by a Biden adviser as a "middle ground" policy plan. Inslee suggested such proposals have no place in the 2020 election, amid rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events brought on by a warming globe.

"I have made a full-throated call for the mobilization of the U.S. economy to defeat this existential threat," Inslee told MSNBC after announcing his plan.

"When we have people in Iowa seeking high ground," he added, referring to the flooding aftermath he observed on a recent visit there, "we can't have a middle ground proposal."

Inslee alluded to the voters he met in Iowa when he introduced the proposal Thursday.

"It is time for the people of fire and flood to have a president who will stand up and protect them from the ravages of climate change and climate crisis," said Inslee.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A pedestrian wearing a mask walks in a residential area in Beijing on Jan. 21, 2020. The number of people in China infected by a new SARS-like virus jumped to 291, according to authorities. WANG ZHAO / AFP via Getty Images

A new coronavirus that began sickening people in China late in 2019 can be transmitted from human to human, the country's health ministry announced Monday.

Read More
New pine trees grow from the forest floor along the North Fork of the Flathead River on the western boundary of Glacier National Park on Sept. 16, 2019 near West Glacier, Montana. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

By Alex Kirby

New forests are an apparently promising way to tackle global heating: the trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activities. But there's a snag, because permanently lower river flows can be an unintended consequence.

Read More
Sponsored
Household actions lead to changes in collective behavior and are an essential part of social movements. Pixabay / Pexels

By Greg McDermid, Joule A Bergerson, Sheri Madigan

Hidden among all of the troubling environmental headlines from 2019 — and let's face it, there were plenty — was one encouraging sign: the world is waking up to the reality of climate change.

So now what?

Read More
Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More