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5 Essential Policies to Enact the Perfect Climate Crisis Plan

Insights + Opinion
On September 4, 2019, a loose chain of tropical cyclones lined up across the Western Hemisphere. Joshua Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory / NOAA / NESDIS

By Jackie Filson

We're going to make this very simple. These are the 5 non-negotiable policies an ideal climate plan must include:


1. A Halt on All New Fossil Fuel Development

This means banning fracking everywhere, ending dangerous build-outs of pipelines and other harmful fossil fuel infrastructure, banning public land extraction, and stopping the export of crude oil and natural gas. This also means excluding the use of market-based mechanisms like cap and trade or carbon taxes, which have been proven ineffective at reducing fossil fuel use and production. The best policy cuts these emissions off at the source.

2. An Aggressive Timeline for a Shift to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy

This means shifting to clean, renewable energies (like wind, solar, tidal, or geothermal) by 2030, stopping the use of "clean washing" (posing dirty energy like nuclear, wood, black liquor, waste methane, waste incineration, renewable energy credits, coal as clean), investing in expanded and better public mass transit, transitioning to zero-emission transportation, and promoting energy efficiency and conservation across the country.

3. A Federal Commitment to Public Water

This means dedicating at least $35 billion each year to renovating our nation's deteriorating public water infrastructure; addressing water contamination from PFOA, PFOS and other PFASs (widespread, persistent lab-made toxics); replacing all lead service lines; stopping sewer overflows; dedicating money to help small, rural and indigenous communities; and promoting affordable water service for all regardless of income (see: WATER Act).

4. A Transition Away From Corporate Agriculture

This means banning factory farming, breaking up corporate agricultural consolidation, restoring control over agricultural siting and practices to local governments, holding vertically integrated companies accountable for the pollution created by the animals they own and rejecting false solutions like manure-to-energy schemes.

5. A Just, Fair, and Equitable Process

This means substantially investing in upgrading the energy efficiency of our nation's buildings to create millions of high-quality jobs, targeting these investments in lower-income populations and communities of color in both urban and rural areas, implementing pro-labor policies to ensure green jobs are worker and union-friendly, and funding transition programs for fossil fuel workers.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Food and Water Watch.

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