Quantcast

Warren's New $2 Trillion Green Manufacturing Plan Welcomed as 'Win-Win' for Climate and Workers

Politics
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks during a campaign stop at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia on May 16. MANDEL NGAN / AFP / Getty Images

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.

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."

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."

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:

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

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
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
Sponsored
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
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More