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The new episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast is a chat with Rhiana Gunn-Wright of New Consensus, a very young think tank that's influential in the Green New Deal movement.

Why it matters: The GND is dominating the conversation in climate policy and politics right now, and a number of top-tier Democratic White House hopefuls have signed on.

The intrigue: One interesting part of the podcast explores the connective tissue between an aggressive emissions-cutting plan and provisions like jobs guarantees and sweeping health care goals.

  • One connection is the idea of creating more fluidity in the labor force to enable widespread participation in climate-friendly sectors. Gunn-Wright notes that people are often wedded to their jobs because of employer-sponsored health care.
  • "We recognize that there has to be a supportive system in order for people to take these new jobs that are coming out to create, possibly, more flexibility in the labor market if we are going to need people to be moving from particular industries into other industries," she said.
  • She covers the same ground and more in this Twitter thread.

In terms of the politics of the climate plan, she argues that if it can be enacted, it would be less vulnerable to subsequent attacks because it's tethered to providing wider jobs and health care gains.

  • "They understand that it is packaged together. We think that that could create a bit more durability too," she said.

Go deeper

Senate plots its own earmark return

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With the Senate done battling over President Biden's coronavirus rescue package, it's preparing to tackle another priority: earmarks.

Driving the news: Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top members on the Senate Appropriations Committee, are expected to work out a deal restoring the congressional spending tool in the coming weeks, committee aides tell Axios.

10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Japan's prime minister first to visit White House

Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga. Photo: STR/JIJI Press/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden is planning to host Japan’s prime minister at the White House as soon as this April, the first in-person foreign leader visit of his presidency, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: An invitation to Yoshihide Suga would telegraph to allies and potential adversaries, including China, that the U.S.-Japan alliance will remain the linchpin of the post-World War II security framework in the Pacific.