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A Green New Deal promotes sustainability, resilience and growth

I. A Green New Deal addresses both urban and rural needs

Establish a national fund for urban and rural resilience

Cities and communities across America need to upgrade their infrastructure now to withstand the effects of climate change, including extreme heat, increased rain and snow, sea level rise, and extreme weather. A national adaptation fund, and analogous funds at the state and local level, could support investments in urban and rural stormwater management, green infrastructure, community hardening, and disaster preparedness. This fund will supplement the expansion of existing infrastructure and urban planning grant programs for sustainable communities and smart growth.

Expand public green space and recreational lands and waters

As cities and suburban areas grow, citizens need greater opportunities to access open and green space and outdoor recreation than exist today. Green space can enhance the beauty and environmental quality of a community, as well as improve emotional health and build a sense of community. This should also include the doubling in size of dedicated public recreational lands and waters, including, in part, National and State parks.

Modernize urban mobility and mass transit

The growth of cities, the rapid change in vehicle technology, and the need for low-carbon transportation means that the way in which we move ourselves and goods from one place to another is going to change forever. This transition needs to be executed thoughtfully to meet the needs of cities and the scale of change required. Large investments are needed to increase access to safe pedestrian and bicycle travel, low-carbon bus rapid transit, and electrified light rail.

33 million people will live in counties directly on the shoreline by 2020, and 41 million Americans live in 100-year floodplains. That number is expected to grow by 50 percent by 2050.

II. A Green New Deal achieves job growth in three ways:

Private sector growth

A Green New Deal can have a multiplier effect—every dollar of government spending generates more than a dollar in local economic growth. A Green New Deal will produce immense demand for new goods and services that the private sector can provide. This includes clean energy technology, energy efficient goods and appliance installation services, zero-emission vehicles and charging infrastructure, building construction and retrofits, environmental remediation and restoration, agriculture, forestry, tourism, and recreation—to name some. A Green New Deal creates signals that encourages private capital to move into these new and expanding markets, and new businesses will generate demand for more workers. This also means reinstating the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Green Jobs Initiative for accurate tracking of green job growth.

Workforce development and job training

There is a mismatch between the number of green jobs required under a Green New Deal and the current availability of skilled labor in the market. That is why a key component of the Green New Deal is workforce development and job training to implement the priorities in each sector and provide Americans access to full-time, sustainable employment in these fields.

A Green New Deal will expand funding and programs that provide training, certification, and apprenticeships. Such programs help workers afford training that will increase their earning potential without taking on debt. They also reduce the burden on employers to find or train enough qualified workers.

A green job guarantee

A job guarantee is more than just the direct hiring of workers by the federal or state governments, and more than an entitlement program like unemployment insurance. A job guarantee is a legal right that obligates the federal government to provide a job for anyone who asks for one and to pay them a livable wage. The more states and communities that participate in a federal job guarantee, the more public works projects can be completed across the country.

A Green New Deal requires a massive workforce for the construction, operations, and administration of projects, and a federal job guarantee program can ensure there are enough workers to meet that need.

This is an exerpt from Green New Deal Report, written by Greg Carlock (lead author) and Emily Mangan (contributing author), and posted on Data for Progress, Sean McElwee, Executive Producer. Find the full report plus data and information about other initiatives at .https://www.dataforprogress.org.

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