Green New Deal Is a Catalyst for Debating Clean Energy

This letter to the editor originally ran in The Boston Globe on April 15.

Jon Chesto’s column “Why Markey sees success in the unpassed Green New Deal” (Business, April 4) makes the point that, despite the bill’s not passing, it has served as a catalyst to reignite the conversation on addressing climate change. The bill has proved useful in other ways as well.

First, discussion of the Green New Deal has served, for the first time in nearly 10 years, to bring science back into the policy debate at the federal level. After the dire warnings from both the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and federal cross-agency reports from fall 2018, we have a better understanding of the costs of inaction. In addition, the coalition of Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes the significant step of building a bridge between traditional environmental advocacy and contemporary millennial activism.

Here in the Northeast, we see states led by Republican and Democratic governors all rowing in the same direction, with clean-energy policies, programs, partnerships, and job growth. By making a national investment in our clean-energy infrastructure, the Green New Deal represents an opportunity to build upon the significant progress of US cities, states, and regions in their transition to a clean economy.


If the debate on the Green New Deal is the first step toward national legislation that unleashes the potential of the clean energy economy, our children will be happy we had the courage to reignite this important debate and take the necessary action.

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Peter Rothstein

Peter is the President of NECEC (Northeast Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute)