Many of the Policies Proposed in Green New Deal Already in Place in States

The framework proposed by the authors of the Green New Deal may be too much for Congress, but many of these polices are already in place at the state level.
April 3, 2019, 11am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Dave Hosford

While the scope of the Green New Deal (GND) surpasses previous climate change legislation passed at the federal level, many of the rules and regulations proposed in the Green New Deal are already in place in some states, as shown in new analysis by Caitlin McCoy.

One example cited by McCoy points is the electrification of public transit. "Electric buses are expected to become a larger portion of public transit given pledges that states and cities are making to reduce emissions and electrify their bus fleets. About 33 percent of all transit buses in the U.S. are projected to be electric by 2045," McCoy writes.

Another area she highlights is energy efficiency in buildings. "California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards are a notable example of standards for new buildings which were designed to tighten over time to reach high levels of efficiency and now serve as the foundation for the state’s Zero Net Energy building plans."

While the Senate has already rejected the GND, McCoy argues that the achievements of states can help federal policy makers avoid pitfalls and learn from the mistakes and successes of state policy makers. There’s also a way for policies to complement each other: "Federal policymakers have an opportunity to design programs that can be plugged into existing state policy architecture," McCoy argues, concluding that continuing to build on existing policies will help lawmakers create a more effective Green New Deal.

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Published on Thursday, March 21, 2019 in Environmental Law at Harvard
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