Green for All: Modifying the Green New Deal to Promote Environmental Justice in the United States
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As the Earth’s climate changes due to human activities, natural and social scientists alike worry for the state of the environment and the potential consequences that environmental degradation have on disadvantaged and marginalized communities. The environmental justice movement emerged from these concerns, and has addressed inequalities at the local level through grassroots and community-based organizations for decades. So far, there has been no lasting traction on environmental justice through legislation at the federal level. As climate concerns become more pressing, disadvantaged and marginalized Americans will face a new set of hardships unless environmental justice is achieved on a large scale in the near future. The Green New Deal proposed by charismatic freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has received a great deal of attention from both advocates and critics. The policy plan has been branded as an overly broad, costly, and ambitious way to tackle environmental and social problems and has generally been considered unviable. Green For All has been developed as a modified version of the Green New Deal proposal, which seeks to promote environmental justice through a transformation of public transit systems, renovation of existing infrastructure, and large-scale federal support of community-based initiatives. Green For All is expected to be significantly cheaper than the Green New Deal and is targeted toward disadvantaged and marginalized Americans. Due to the focused nature of the policy’s planned activities and its projected impact on the target population, Green For All is expected to receive support from media, citizens, and members of Congress.