Even before the pandemic hit, we knew that our world was broken. We knew that our society was neither sustainable nor just. We knew that we couldn’t just continue as we had been and expect our children and grandchildren would have a safe planet to live on. The deep disruption caused by the coronavirus that we are facing has put these truths into even sharper focus.
As Jews we have faced devastation, disruption, and destruction over and over throughout history. And each time we have not only survived, but envisioned and rebuilt a different future. Now we have an unexpected opportunity to re-envision and rebuild a different world. We have the opportunity to move from the world as it is, to the world as it should be—as it must be.
We need our next president and congress to commit to envisioning and building a new kind of world—one that is just, sustainable, and sets us on the path to zero emissions.
Here are five key ways that our next president and congress can advance a just, green recovery:
100 Clean Energy by 2030 or earlier: Use executive authority and congressional action to mandate 100% clean energy by 2030 or earlier in the electricity sector, vehicles, and by 2025 in new buildings.
Lay out a bold Green Stimulus and Recovery Plan: Work to mobilize $10 trillion dollars over a decade to create millions of good jobs building the economy of the future in the wake of this crisis.
Create Good Jobs and Protect Workers: Use the federal government’s power to ensure that new jobs are good jobs, develop a historic Civilian Climate Corps that will train and put people to work saving the planet, and provide a just transition for workers in greenhouse gas intensive industries by guaranteeing 5 years of wages and benefits and early retirement.
Uphold Environmental Justice: In consultation with environmental justice leaders, provide detailed plans to include communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution in all rulemaking and legislation, and ensure they benefit from the transition.
Hold Polluters Accountable: Commit to take on, hold accountable, and prosecute the fossil fuel executives and lobbyists who have criminally jeopardized future generations’ ability to live and thrive, use executive authority and congressional action to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure.