September 20, 2019

Sen. Heinrich backs Green New Deal, citing lack of progress on climate crisis

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich threw his support behind the youth-led Global Climate Strike and announced he’s signed on as a co-sponsor to the Green New Deal, in a video posted to his Facebook page on Friday.

“This rising generation of activists understands what we’re up against, and is willing to propose the kind of bold changes that equal the scale of that problem. Unlike previous generations who have delayed and denied climate change, I strongly believe that these young people are going to be the critical catalyst for solving this issue,” Heinrich said. “I stand in solidarity with the students and activists around the world today who are demanding action on climate change, because you are the most powerful tool that we have to make this right.”

Heinrich, who sits on the Senate select committee on the climate crisis, said more needs to be done to address climate change.

“I’ve spent decades working to build a renewable energy economy,” he said. “The progress that we’ve made simply hasn’t kept pace with the speed and the scale of the warming that threatens our very existence,” he said.

The Green New Deal is a non-binding resolution first introduced in February by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts in the Senate and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in the House. The resolution calls on the federal government to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade through a “fair and just transition,” and highlights a slew of environmental justice goals, including creating “millions of good, high-wage jobs,” securing clean air, clean water, and establishing “climate and community resiliency.” It also calls for “stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.”

The resolution now has 95 sponsors in the U.S. House and 13 sponsors in the Senate, all Democrats except Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is an Independent.