Hundreds of environmental groups pressure Congress by backing Green New Deal

Hundreds of environmental groups pressure Congress by backing Green New Deal
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Hundreds of environmental organizations signed a letter Thursday backing a rapid transition away from fossil fuels in the United States.

The groups, led by organizations like Friends of the Earth and the Climate Justice Alliance, told members of the House in the open letter that lawmakers should pursue the Green New Deal, a climate change-fighting concept that calls for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and the decarbonization of other major industries.

“As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned, if we are to keep global warming below 1.5°C, we must act aggressively and quickly,” the groups wrote.

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Their specific asks include an end to all new fossil fuel leasing on federal land; transitioning the power sector completely to renewable energy; phasing out fossil fuel-powered cars; and helping workers transition out of the fossil fuel sector.

“As the United States shifts away from fossil fuels, we must simultaneously ramp up energy efficiency and transition to clean, renewable energy to power the nation’s economy where, in addition to excluding fossil fuels, any definition of renewable energy must also exclude all combustion-based power generation, nuclear, biomass energy, large scale hydro and waste-to-energy technologies,” they wrote.

More than three dozen House Democrats have endorsed a proposal to create a special committee that would write legislation to implement a Green New Deal. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Romney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars MORE (D-N.Y.) quickly emerged late last year as the plan’s most vocal supporter.

Democrats this year established a special climate committee, but not with the Green New Deal charge.