Story at a glance

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez linked on Tuesday both historic and ongoing injustices to the global challenge of climate change.
  • "The climate crisis is a crisis born of injustice, and it is a crisis born of the pursuit of profit at any and all human and ecological cost," Ocasio-Cortez said.
  • Originally, the Green New Deal called on the U.S. to lead the planet to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) linked on Tuesday both historic and ongoing injustices to the global challenge of climate change.

The Democratic congresswoman joined colleagues Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) among others to promote and refocus the Green New Deal, a climate initiative first announced in 2019. Originally, the Green New Deal called on the U.S. to lead the planet to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

"The climate crisis is a crisis born of injustice, and it is a crisis born of the pursuit of profit at any and all human and ecological cost," Ocasio-Cortez said at a press conference outside the Capitol building.

"We must recognize in legislation that the trampling of indigenous rights is a cause of climate change, that the trampling of racial justice is a cause of climate change," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "We are allowing folks to deny ourselves human rights and deny people the right to health care, the right to housing and education."

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Ocasio-Cortez added that, with the Green New Deal, the U.S. will "100 percent carbon free-economy, that is more unionized, more just, more dignified and guarantees more health care and housing than we ever have before."

The Green New Deal currently has 103 sponsors in the U.S. House. The initial proposal was stalled in a then-Republican controlled Senate, but Markey believes the goal transcends politics. 

"It's possible to find middle ground in many areas of politics. I know because I've done it. But we cannot compromise now," Markey said. "We cannot compromise on the fate of our planet and on human civilization."

Ocasio-Cortez also joined Markey in introducing additional legislation Tuesday, which will establish a corps made up of 1.5 million Americans to fulfill federally funded projects over a five-year period to fight climate change in communities.

"We are going to be calling for the highest aspirations that our country can reach," Markey said at the press conference. "We want to lift the gaze to the constellation of possibilities for our country and for the world."

President Biden is set to host a virtual climate summit beginning Thursday in an effort to ensure support from the global community in engaging the climate crisis. 

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Published on Apr 21, 2021