A major group behind the Green New Deal on Monday attacked a campaign climate proposal from former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid in bid against Abbott McConaughey on Texas run: 'I will let you know shortly' O'Rourke raises M in first 24 hours of Texas governor campaign MORE (D-Texas), arguing the plan isn't aggressive enough when it comes to certain timelines and goals.
O'Rourke on Monday released a plan that calls for a $5 trillion commitment to fighting climate change and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Sunrise Movement, a youth climate organization that backs the Green New Deal, points to scientists who argue the U.S. must act by 2030.
“Unfortunately, Beto gets the science wrong and walks back his commitments from earlier this month in Iowa to move to net-zero emissions by 2030. Beto claims to support the Green New Deal, but his plan is out of line with the timeline it lays out and the scale of action that scientists say is necessary to take here in the United States to give our generation a livable future.”
Sunrise wants every 2020 candidate to commit to a 2030 timeline.
"This historic $5 trillion investment is not only the world’s largest ever climate change investment in infrastructure, innovation, and our communities but it is also in line with the 2050 emissions goal of the Green New Deal," a spokesman for O'Rourke said in a statement to The Hill.
The group argues the Green New Deal, a resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWar of words escalates in House McCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP Noncitizen voting doesn't pass this test MORE (D-N.Y) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators seek to curb counterfeit toys and goods sold online Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes MORE (D-Mass.), will be essential for courting young voters in the next presidential election.
Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to requests for comment.
While there is agreement among climate scientists that swift action is needed to ease the ramifications of global warming, the timeline proposed in the Green New Deal, along with the heavy reliance on renewables, has divided Democrats.
O’Rourke’s plan calls for getting halfway toward net-zero emissions by 2030, with the former lawmaker saying he would work with Congress within his first 100 days in office to set legally enforceable standards for reducing emissions. He said he also would end leases for fossil fuel production on federal lands and recommit the U.S. to the Paris climate accord.
Aliya Haq, a senior climate adviser to the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, said while O’Rourke’s timelines could be more aggressive, his plan hit several key components needed to address global warming.
“Sunrise is right that we need to make very serious progress by 2030. We need to see aggressive emissions cuts in the next 10 years without a doubt,” she said. “I think [O’Rourke] is hitting all the key themes we need to see in a full climate platform, which is long-term emission goals as well as need for investment and the need to start acting Day One of a new presidency. And a recognition it’s not just about cutting carbon pollution but getting communities ready for the impacts of climate change.”
O’Rourke is not the first 2020 hopeful to unveil a climate plan, but his proposal is broader than some of his Democratic competitors.
Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerMaternal and child health legislation must be prioritized now Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D-N.J.) unveiled an environmental justice initiative on Friday, while Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.) proposed an end to drilling on federal lands as part of a broader public lands proposal.
Another White House hopeful, Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeVaccine mandates put unions in a bind Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Armadillo army takes over North Carolina town Washington redistricting commission fails, punts maps to Supreme Court MORE (D), has made climate change the centerpiece of his campaign.