For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager, meo@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Diana C. Brown, Co-chair, Media Committee, media@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Philena Farley, Co-chair, Media Committee, media@gp.org, 202-804-2758

Greens to Biden: "On Climate, You Are Not 'The Party of Science'"

President’s Earth Day goals won’t begin to solve climate emergency.

WASHINGTON - The Green Party of the United States said today that President Biden’s rumored climate goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030, reported in the press two days before his Earth Day Summit, is a step in the right direction but falls woefully short of what the science says must be done to avert a climate catastrophe.

“Democrats love to lecture that ‘half a loaf of bread is better than none’ but the President is offering half of a parachute when we’re about to be kicked out of an airplane,” said Green Party Communications Manager Michael O’Neil.

“The  COVID pandemic showed us how quickly and profoundly we can alter the fundamentals of society when we recognize we’re in an overwhelming crisis,” said Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party Presidential Nominee. “There’s no doubt that climate change is an existential crisis to humanity and the planet. Biden needs to formally declare a climate emergency and launch an all-out mobilization of national resources to give current and future generations a fighting chance for a future” said Hawkins who became the first candidate in the United States to campaign for a Green New Deal, in 2010.

The Green Party noted the science has long been clear: 7 years remain, at the world’s present rate of greenhouse gas emissions, before surpassing the limit required to keep warming below the 1.5℃ threshold that will trigger catastrophic climate change. Extreme weather, species extinction and fracturing ice sheets threatening massive sea level rise are all accelerating.

“Biden and the Democrats must, at long last, stop following the fossil fuel companies and their campaign contributions and start following the science,” said Green Party National Co-Chair Margaret Elisabeth. “That means a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Aiming short of that is a plan to fail, before we even start.”

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The Green Party’s plan for a Green New Deal — to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy while ensuring living wage jobs and economic security for everyone — calls for an annual, multi-trillion dollar investment that will include:

  • An immediate halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure, including new fracking and fossil fuel pipelines. Set timeline to phase out current infrastructure.
  • Phasing out natural gas with its dangerous methane emissions, swiftly transitioning to geothermal and heat pumps for buildings.
  • Moving from gas cars to electric and, with even greater benefit, expand and transform mass transit powered by green renewable energy.
  • Retrofit tens of millions of homes annually, not a million over 8 years.

To pay for the program, the Green Party supports slashing the dangerous, bloated military budget (that devours over 60% of Congressional expenditures), enacting a carbon tax on polluters, and increasing taxes on the wealthy.

The Greens recently called for Congress to pass a ten-year, $4.1 trillion per year green economic stimulus to create 30 million jobs and accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030. By comparison, Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure stimulus barely scrapes the surface of urgent climate needs, with only $400 billion for specific climate measures, and even that is spread out over 8 years.

Green leaders also prioritize a Just Transition to guarantee good wages for existing fossil fuel workers and to invest in frontline communities that bear the greatest risk, both at home and abroad, who’ve long been the principal victims of fossil fuel pollution and climate change. The Green New Deal revitalization will include environmental reforms beyond energy and climate goals, such as stricter EPA guidelines for disposal of toxic waste and agriculture regulations for pesticides, herbicides and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“Many Americans realize that the U.S. was an international climate pariah under Trump and his climate-change-denying promotion of fossil fuels. But they overlook how the U.S. was a negative force at the 2015 Paris climate summit, leading the industrial polluting nations in opposing a reduction in the global warming cap to 1.5℃ and blocking mandatory emission reductions. The world remains skeptical of the climate positions of both the Democrats and Republicans” added Green Party National Co-Chair Tony Ndege.

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