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The climate change activists who vaulted the Green New Deal to prominence in the 2020 presidential campaign got what they wanted this week: a Democratic front-runner moving straight in their direction. Now they have to figure out what's next.
In less than a half-year, the Green New Deal has become a rallying cry for liberal Democrats, intensifying the focus on climate change by the party's base voters and presidential contenders. But the aggressive goals and scant details left room for candidates — Joe Biden, in particular — to get credit for embracing the spirit of the Green New Deal without fully delivering what some of its activists want.
Environmentalists - Victory - Others - Progress - Climate
That left some environmentalists declaring a big victory and others seeing only partial progress in the climate change plan Biden announced this week. The real test, the latter group argues, is keeping the pressure on Biden and other candidates to flesh out their plans to tackle planet-warming emissions.
Their success or failure may determine how much attention climate change gets from the crowded field of Democratic hopefuls. It may also decide how far leftward the party is willing to go to address an issue that has faded from the national stage during general presidential elections but is an increasingly high priority for Democrats amid fresh warnings from scientists about the imminent consequences of global warming.
Biden - Climate - Plan - Spending - Nation
Biden's climate plan envisions $1.7 trillion in federal spending to push the nation's emissions to net zero by 2050. The Green New Deal, by contrast, seeks to fully decarbonize the economy by 2030 — and its chief backer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., predicted this week that a full-scale climate plan would cost at least $10 trillion.
Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth Action, said he's concerned that the former vice president got too much credit for a "somewhat anemic" investment...
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