Warren's New $2 Trillion Green Manufacturing Plan Welcomed as 'Win-Win' for Climate and Workers
By Jessica Corbett
As new polling showed Tuesday that public support for Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign has continued to rise as she's introduced a series of ambitious policy proposals, the Democratic candidate unveiled a $2 trillion renewable energy and green manufacturing plan welcomed by climate campaigners as a boon for both the planet and U.S. workers.
"With this plan, Elizabeth Warren is seizing the enormous opportunity that transitioning to 100 percent clean energy represents for people across the country," Greenpeace USA senior climate campaigner Jack Shapiro said in a statement. "The renewable energy economy is a win-win for our climate and communities, and should be at the core of any plan to create jobs and spur innovation."
In a Medium post published Tuesday, Warren detailed her green manufacturing plan, which she described as "part of how I'll implement my commitment to a Green New Deal" and just the first of several proposals under her new economic patriotism agenda.
With bold investments, we can fight climate change, achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal, and create… https://t.co/bkED3mjzn2— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1559655120.0
Noting that "over the next decade, the expected market for clean energy technology in emerging economies alone is $23 trillion," Warren wrote that she hopes to enable the United States to dominate that market by developing, manufacturing, and exporting "the technology the world needs to confront the existential threat of climate change."
To achieve market dominance, she explained, the U.S. government would use revenue from her proposed Real Corporate Profits Tax to "invest $2 trillion over the next 10 years in green research, manufacturing, and exporting — linking American innovation directly to American jobs, and helping achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal."
My green manufacturing plan rewards American companies who invest at home. It's funded by my Real Corporate Profits… https://t.co/mtqXHaqs6i— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1559655121.0
Warren's green manufacturing plan has three parts:
- The Green Apollo Program would commit "$400 billion in funding over the next 10 years for clean energy research and development — more than 10 times what we invested in the last 10 years."
- The Green Industrial Mobilization would involve "a $1.5 trillion federal procurement commitment over the next 10 years to purchase American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export."
- The Green Marshall Plan would include the creation of "a new federal office dedicated to selling American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy technology abroad and a $100 billion commitment to assisting countries to purchase and deploy this technology."
"The climate crisis demands immediate and bold action," Warren wrote, reiterating her support for a fair and just transition that's called for in the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress earlier this year.
Referencing the World War II era, she added, "Like we have before, we should bank on American ingenuity and American workers to lead the global effort to face down this threat — and create more than a million good jobs here at home."
The youth-led Sunrise Movement, in a series of tweets, said Warren's plan "shows clearly that she understands the frame of the #GreenNewDeal, the lessons from our history it draws upon, and that she is committed to mobilizing the federal government towards the scale of its ambition if elected."
One area where the Green Manufacturing Plan could be stronger is the scale of the Green Marshall Plan. While $100 b… https://t.co/hCZXxcilBb— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@Sunrise Movement 🌅)1559663661.0
In a statement, Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, the North America director for 350 Action, praised "the international focus of her plan, the acknowledgement of the United States's disproportionate pollution, and the commitment to aiding underinvested countries that are already suffering from the climate crisis as a critical part of America's responsibility to the world."
The green manufacturing plan, according to Warren, is the first of many plans she intends to unveil in the coming weeks that fall under her broader "agenda of economic patriotism," which she described as "using new and existing tools to defend and create quality American jobs and promote American industry."
One of the other ways Warren would pursue this agenda is by creating a new federal agency, the Department of Economic Development, which would "replace the Commerce Department, subsume other agencies like the Small Business Administration and the Patent and Trademark Office, and include research and development programs, worker training programs, and export and trade authorities like the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative."
Warren outlined her vision of economic patriotism in a video posted on social media Tuesday:
Some big, “American” companies will ship jobs overseas and hollow out our cities if it'll save them a nickel. And m… https://t.co/E6yksQkzlY— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1559656674.0
Zach Carter, in a piece for HuffPost Tuesday, pointed out that Warren's broad economic platform follows a series of "ambitious, meticulously detailed" plans on everything from breaking up big tech giants like Amazon and Google to forgiving student debt and establishing universal childcare. However, he argued, the economic platform that she discussed in Detroit Tuesday "is a little different."
The Massachusetts Democrat's economic agenda for the nation "retains Warren's wonk-flair," Carter wrote, "but the heart of her proposal is ideological rather than technical. Warren is making a crystal-clear statement of principles, and an equally plain break with the past 30 years of American trade policy ― up to and including the presidency of Donald Trump."
The presidential hopeful's "astonishing plan for economic patriotism" was celebrated by Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, as "in a class by itself, even for Warren."
"Warren's proposal does nothing less than turn inside out the globalist assumptions pursued by the past several administrations, Democrat and Republican alike," Kuttner wrote Tuesday. "With this plan, Warren has begun an overdue debate that she deserves to win, both intellectually and politically. And she has demonstrated once again her potential as a powerful force against Donald Trump."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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