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Sunrise Responds to Biden’s Job Creation Climate Argument: If You're Serious, Pass Markey's Civilian Climate Corps Bill

WASHINGTON -

On day two of President Biden’s climate summit, Biden has doubled down on climate change being an opportunity to create jobs, saying “Climate change is more than a threat… It also presents one of the largest job creation opportunities in history.” In response to this, Sunrise Movement Political Director, Evan Weber, released the following statement:

“Sunrise Movement has been asserting for years that combating climate change can and should create millions of good, fulfilling jobs, fully transforming our economy and our society in the process. Not only that, but on Tuesday, Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Sunrise Movement, presented Biden with a historic bill that describes the very opportunity he is hopeful for: the Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act. 

“This visionary policy would create a government jobs program putting a new generation of Americans to work combatting the climate crisis, while forging a new era of civic collaboration in this country. Biden can’t fight the climate crisis with empty promises. He must deliver by passing Senator Markey’s Civilian Climate Corps Act through his infrastructure package.”

Sunrise Movement first brought the idea of a Civilian Climate Corps to Biden during the Biden-Sanders climate task force last summer and has fought for its adoption ever since. Since then, Biden has adopted the idea of a Civilian Climate Corps, but his current proposal is nowhere near the magnitude FDR employed: Roosevelt’s original CCC employed around 300,000 young Americans per year at a time when the US population was ~40% what it is now. Biden’s proposed CCC would invest $10 billion over 10 years, equating to about 10-20,000 jobs a year.

This also comes just days after climate champions Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reintroduced the Green New Deal, alongside the Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act. Their proposed Civilian Climate Corps is supported by dozens of racial, economic, climate justice, and labor groups and would employ a diverse group of 1.5 million Americans within five years to complete clean energy, climate resilience, environmental remediation, conservation, and sustainable infrastructure projects, while providing education, training, and career pathways in good union jobs. The CCC will provide a $15 minimum wage, ensure mandatory health and educational benefits for participants, and foregrounds racial justice and Tribal sovereignty protections. This is a concrete first step towards the longer-term vision of the Green New Deal.

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Sunrise Movement is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.

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