Jan 10, 2019

The race to shape the Green New Deal

Protesters advocating for Democratic support for the Green New Deal. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A suite of groups on the environmental movement's left flank are out with a new open letter to House members about their legislative goals around climate change.

Why it matters: The statement endorsed by groups including Friends of the Earth and 350.org is an early sign of efforts to influence the shape of the Green New Deal (and climate policy more broadly).

What they're saying: The letter calls for various aggressive and "visionary" measures they say are needed to hold the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, such as...

  • Ending fossil fuel leasing on public lands and halting approval of fossil fuel infrastructure.
  • Moving the country to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 at the latest.
  • Decarbonizing transportation with major investments in public transit, and phasing out sales of internal combustion vehicles.
  • Using the "full power" of the Clean Air Act by setting strict deadlines for emissions cuts from transportation, smokestacks and other sources.

The groups behind the letter include the Center for Biological Diversity, the Climate Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Food & Water Watch, Oil Change USA and more.

  • All told, several hundred groups — a tally that includes a large number of local organizations — signed on.
  • Yes, but: It does not include a number of the largest players in climate politics, like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund.

The big picture: It's part of a wider effort to both lay down markers and eventually craft policy specifics around the plan, both in Congress and on the campaign trail.

  • A spokesperson for the Sunrise Movement, a group at the forefront of the Green New Deal push that also signed the new letter, tells me they've been meeting with the campaigns of 2020 White House hopefuls.

The intrigue: One notable omission from the new letter is a call for carbon taxes or other forms of carbon pricing.

  • 350.org's Jamie Henn says his organization feels the letter is aimed at promoting ideas that are often missing or downplayed in Washington.
  • He says it's not a statement against carbon pricing, but does signal that progressives don't see pricing as the central pillar of cutting emissions to the degree needed.

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World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Novel coronavirus infections have hit the 1 million mark after "near exponential growth" that's reached "almost every country," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The big picture: The global death toll exceeded 50,000 on Thursday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported nearly 14,000 deaths. Governments around the world have introduced public health and economic measures to try and curb the impact of the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 23 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,007,997 — Total deaths: 52,771 — Total recoveries: 210,055Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 236,339 — Total deaths: 5,648 — Total recoveries: 8,861Map.
  3. 2020 update: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus.
  4. Jobs latest: The coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state
  5. Public health latest: FDA allows blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Judge declines to delay Wisconsin April 7 primary, extends absentee deadline

Photo: Darren Hauck/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election, saying he doesn't have the authority to do so.

Why it matters: Wisconsin is the only state scheduled to vote next Tuesday that has not yet delayed its primary.