Dec 17, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Europe's climate hawks split with U.S. vision on Green New Deal

Ursula Von Der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An interesting Bloomberg piece compares the European Union's newly unveiled climate proposals with the Green New Deal that's in vogue in American progressive circles on the left.

The intrigue: There's a lot there, but at one point the authors wonder whether the multitopic focus of the Green New Deal — which tackles health care, job and wage guarantees — will make it tougher to implement than the European Green Deal.

The big picture: The piece looks at the European goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. "Even ultra-conservative European governments, such as Poland’s, which resisted committing themselves to Green Deal goals, didn’t object to the bloc striving to meet the objective," they report.

  • The story notes that while even modest climate efforts have faced hostility from conservative in Congress, the GND's scope may be making its path even harder.
  • "[T]he Green New Deal’s very broad ambition has made it a favorite target of Republicans, who have tried to cast it as an illustration of how their liberal opponents are both dangerous and laughably unrealistic," it states.

Of note: There's no single Green New Deal, so Bloomberg uses a mashup of concepts in the congressional resolution and plans from Democratic White House hopefuls.

One big question: Will senior Capitol Hill Democrats, as they start preparing climate legislation that would be ready if the party regains control of Washington, take their cues from the Green New Deal's breadth?

  • I put that question to the Democratic spokesperson for the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which is due to produce policy ideas by March 31. The answer was ... vague.
  • "Since climate change affects every aspect of our economy, we intend to provide recommendations that will allow Congress to address the climate crisis comprehensively," Melvin Felix said.

Go deeper: Europe's big climate deal exempts coal-reliant Poland

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