The Facts

The Green New Deal is a manifesto calling for sweeping changes to American society. Key goals include cutting greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero over 10 years and guaranteeing jobs for all. The plan has prominent Democratic backers, including Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), all of whom are running for president. Many liberal and environmental groups are on board. Republicans say it’s a non-starter that reeks of socialism.

Climate change is a critical issue, but some experts say the Green New Deal is overambitious and unworkable. “I’m afraid I just cannot see how we could possibly go to zero carbon in the 10-year time frame,” Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist and secretary of energy under President Barack Obama, told NPR. “It’s just impractical. And if we start putting out impractical targets, we may lose a lot of key constituencies who we need to bring along to have a real low-carbon solution on the most rapid time frame that we can achieve,” such as labor unions, Moniz said.

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