Ten Green New Deals – How Do They Compare?

Ten GNDs

By Guy Dauncey, Revised September 29th 2019 September 27, 2019 ClimateEconomy Bernie SandersbusinesscanadacommunityDevelopmentelectricityElizabeth WarrenfoodGreen New DealGreen PartyJay InsleejobsNatureNDPOilpoliticstaxestransportation

Guy Dauncey is founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and the author or co-author of ten books, including The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming and Journey to the Future: A Better World Is Possible. He is currently completing The Economics of Kindness: A Ten-Year Transition to a Green Cooperative Economy. He lives in Yellow Point, on Vancouver Island, Canada. His website is www.thepracticalutopian.ca.

I premise my analysis on five statements:

  • The climate emergency is real.
  • The ecological emergency is real.
  • The inequality, household debt and affordable housing crises are real.
  • A new global financial crisis is lurking, caused by excessive corporate and private debt and banking deregulation.
  • We need a ten-year mobilization to achieve a rapid transition to a green cooperative economy that is human-friendly, community-friendly, climate-friendly and nature-friendly, leaving self-interested capitalism behind us.

The History of the Green New Deal

What is a Green New Deal? The idea comes from President Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s, which used a Keynesian economic approach with active government intervention to regulate the banks, manage the economy and invest heavily in job creation, farmland restoration and the arts to overcome systemic economic failure and end the Great Depression. The New Deal firmly rejected the idea that the market, if left to itself, would solve the problem. That same idea today, based on faulty neoclassical economic theory, is an indirect cause not only of the climate and ecological emergencies, but also of the increasing inequality and poverty, the housing crisis, the personal debt crisis, tax evasion by the plutocrats, and the rise of white supremacism and populism, as an emotional response to fear and confusion.

A Green New Deal, in its most integrated expression, is a coherent economic response to these many crises and a launchpad for a new green cooperative economy, beyond capitalism.

The need for a Green New Deal was first developed in Britain by The Green New Deal Group in 2008, who followed up with their September 2019 GND which is included in this analysis.

To compare ideas, I have analyzed ten published Green New Deals:

  1. Bernie Sanders (BS)
  2. Jay Inslee (JI)[1]
  3. Elizabeth Warren (EW)
  4. US Congress Resolution 109 introduced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, cosponsored by 94 members of Congress (US 109)
  5. US Green Party (GP-US)
  6. Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM-25) Green New Deal for Europe, Draft version for public feedback (D-25)
  7. The Green Party of Canada (GPC)
  8. Canada New Democratic Party ‘A New Deal for People’
  9. Britain’s Green New Deal Group (GND-UK)
  10. Britain’s Labour Party Conference motion supporting a GND (September 2019) (Lab-UK)

From A Message from the Future

A Message from the Future

To bring things to life, here is the short video A Message From the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Of the ten announced GNDs, only one (US Congress 109) comes from a democratically elected body, although it still requires support from the Senate and the sitting President. The others are aspirational, from people or parties that are or were campaigning to be elected. #8 from Canada’s NDP is not technically a GND – it’s a ‘New Deal for People’.

It is very noticeable that the greater the public participation and engagement, the fewer the resulting policies. In Britain, the Labour Party Conference’s successful GND Resolution in September 2019 resulted from ten hours of frantic mid-conference negotiation between the members of 64 Constituency Labour Parties, each of which had filed its own GND resolution. The composite result is the most ambitious of the ten GNDs, with its commitment to net-zero emissions for all purposes by 2030, and it includes union sign-on, but compared to some other GNDs it is thin on detail. The fewer people you have to please, it seems, the easier it is to go deep into the important policy-weeds.

In Finland, plans are being developed to make the entire country 100% carbon neutral by 2035, but details have yet to be published. Denmark’s coalition government has pledged to introduce binding decarbonisation goals and to strengthen its 2030 target to 70% below 1990, including commitments to take the lead in the green transition, to end the sale of gas and diesel cars after 2030, to double the amount of organic farmland, to work to turn the whole European Union into a climate union, to embrace green accounting and economic modelling, and to promote a circular economy strategy.

In Canada, several other consultations are underway to craft a GND:

Comparing so many GNDs is a hazardous undertaking, leaving much opportunity for criticism and complaint, since they are expressed in different ways, and some are more detailed than others. Jay Islee’s proposals for Global Climate Mobilization, for instance, are very detailed, so I have picked only a few of his team’s many intentions. He is no longer running for President, but Elizabeth Warren has openly supported and embraced many of them. Taken together, however, they are an invaluable toolbox for the crafting or refinement of future GNDs.

After the analysis I share some reflections.

So now – dig in! A wide-layout PDF of this document for easier reading and printing is available HERE: Ten Green New Deals

  1. Bernie Sanders
  2. Jay Inslee
  3. Elizabeth Warren
  4. US Congress 109
  5. US Green Party
  6. Democracy in Europe DiEM-25
  7. Canada’s Green Party
  8. Canada’s New Democratic Party
  9. Britain’s Green New Deal Group
  10. Britain’s Labour Party GND Resolution
Broad Goals12345678910
Declaration of climate emergency
Declaration of ecological emergency
Tackle inequality
Promote justice and equity by ending oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities
Repair historic legacy of environmental racism
Ten-Year Mobilization to achieve Green New Deal goals
Exceed the Paris climate target
60% below 2005 level by 2030, net zero 2050
“The greatest mobilisation of people and resources ever in peacetime.”
Align all government policy & track progress with 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Zero net greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers by 2030
Complete decarbonization of economy/net zero by 2050
Measure and tackle consumption emissions, not just those produced on UK soil
Create millions of good high-wage jobs by 2030
Green Apollo Program to develop clean energy technology. $400 billion over ten years for R&D. $1.5 trillion federal procurement over ten years to purchase American-made renewable energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export.
Commitment to meet targets by domestic reductions without use of offsets, BECCS or geo-engineering
Large green public investment
Put justice at the center of America’s climate mission; use an Equity Screen on all major federal climate, energy and environmental spending
Ensure that government accounts for the complete environmental and social costs and impacts of emissions through existing laws and through new policies and programs
Provide all with economic security by 2030
Climate Science12345678910
Continuously update Paris climate targets to align with the scientific consensus
Increase investment in Earth System Sciences, NOAA, USDA, FEMA, states’ climate resources
Require climate score or test for all proposed legislation, similar to the budget score.
Development of the Green New Deal12345678910
Green New Deal Commission to draw up a plan that can make it happen. Government takes the lead, everyone plays a role, especially communities, workers on front line
Transparent and inclusive consultation and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker coops, civil society groups, academia and businesses
Ensure democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to develop the GND at the local level
Local Citizens Assemblies and other forms of participation
Cross-party inner cabinet
Climate Accountability office to audit progress toward goals
Just transition to be developed in partnership with workers and unions
Obtain free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples in all decisions that affect them; full inclusion for First Nations, tribes and Native Americans in GND
Legislation to mandate that the economy operates within the Stockholm Resilience Institute’s planetary boundaries
Reverse biodiversity loss and soil degradation by 2030
Implement a programme of ecological restoration to increase biodiversity and natural carbon sequestration.
Ramp up endangered species legislation
Recognize ecocide as a punishable offense, establishing civil penalties and criminal offenses
Innovative rewilding projects; restore and reclaim public land as commons
Renew Canada’s Environmental Farm Plan Program to protect nature, habitats
Establish an Environmental Justice Commission to monitor the progress of the green transition including international, intersectional and intergenerational justice, putting citizen participation at the core of its activities through citizen panels
Set targets for the preservation of natural habitats and reversal of biodiversity loss
Redouble wildlife and marine species conservation efforts in rural and coastal resource-dependent communities and industries
Secure access to nature for generations to come
Protect public lands, increase urban, suburban and rural green space; invest in National Parks repair and upgrading
Bring nature into cities on un-used land
Invest $171 billion to expand Civilian Conservation Corps to provide good-paying jobs building green infrastructure, planting billions of trees, preventing erosion, rebuilding wetlands and coral, cleaning up plastic pollution, building trails, developing methods of natural carbon sequestration
Carbon sequestration through restored peatlands and wetlands
Restore natural buffer zones along waterways
Restore carbon sinks through ecologically sound tree-planting, soil re-building
Restore and protect threatened ecosystems through locally appropriate projects that enhance biodiversity, including restoration of damaged fossil fuel extraction sites.
Expand EPA and NOAA programs to improve the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems, promote blue carbon, restore wetlands and mangroves
Clean up hazardous and abandoned sites, including fossil fuel infrastructure on federal land. US 109: Repurpose for sustainable economic development.JI: Increase investment in Brownfields development, re-use polluted lands for clean energy projects, modeled on ReGenesis, South Carolina.
Expand marine protected areas to 30% of Canada’s territorial ocean waters by 2030
Protect 30% of freshwaters and land by 2030
Climate Adaptation and Resiliency12345678910
BS: Climate Justice Resiliency Fund, prioritizing grants to most vulnerable communities, including coastal resiliency to adapt to sea-level rise.JI: Address deficit in coastal and inland water infrastructure needs, secure drought-resistant water supplies in western river basins.
Secure climate and community resiliency for generations to come
Increase forest firefighting, wildfire restoration and disaster preparedness capacities
100% clean renewable electricity by 2030JI & EW: 100% carbon-neutral by 2030, zero-emissions by 2035. Use of performance-based utility regulation to phase out coal and gas plants. Tax credits for renewable energy, smart grid, energy storage, new transmission lines; tax incentives for zero-emission technologies
Public ownership of energy, including the Big Six electricity and gas suppliers, creating an integrated, democratic system
Federal energy financing and loan guarantees for renewable energy. Direct grants for projects by non-profits, community organizations, local governments, academic institutions
EW: Provide 10% of US electricity generation from renewable sources offshore or on public lands (10x more than present). JI: Increase renewable energy development on federal lands/waters especially in west
Federal agencies to achieve 100% clean energy by 2024
Establish a Renewable Energy Administration (US-GP), Power Marketing Administration (B.S.), Federal Renewable Energy Commission (EW) to build renewable energy generation and storage systemsGND-UK: GND Energy Distribution Agency      
Mandatory portfolio standards for decarbonization and other environmental factors
DiEM-25: Public ownership of all utilities, public buy-out, massive public investment.BS: public ownership of energy generated by GND, sold to municipal and other utilities
DiEM-25: Free electricity for essential needs, followed by steeply increasing price. BS: Electricity sold at current rates to keep prices stable.
Establish national Energy Efficiency Resource Standard for utilities to achieve all cost-effective efficiency measures, including cost of climate pollution
Accelerate ‘Top Runner’ appliance efficiency standards including zero emission appliances such as water heaters and dryers; tax incentives for industrial waste-heat recovery and carbon capture
Energy-efficient, distributed smart power grids, ensuring affordable access to power for all by 2030
Reduce energy demand across all sectors by 50%
Work with utilities to create inclusive on-bill financing for efficiency and renewable energy investments for all customers
Nuclear power. GP-US: Complete phase-out by 2030BS: Moratorium on license renewals
BS: Ban mountaintop removal coal miningJI & EW: Retire all coal production by 2030
Department of Energy  Solar Communities Initiative to achieve 10% of total electricity demand by 2040
Major public investment in integrating cycling, free public transit, fleets of shared EVs and high-speed rail
National walking and cycling infrastructure
More than double federal investment in public transit, electrify all passenger and freight rail. Matching grants for EV infrastructure
Public spending on carsharing and bike-hire
Free buses, targeted fare reductions for public transport; car-free urban developments;
Public transport in rural and remote areas – trip sharing, community public transport
Clean, affordable, accessible public transit by 2030
Take transport into public ownership
Redesigned streets for pedestrian and cycling priority, very low speed limits
High speed rail by 2030
Zero carbon public ground transport by 2040UK-GND 2030 
Zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure by 2030. JI & EW: Clean fuel standard requiring 100% zero emissions for all new light- and medium-duty vehicles and buses by 2030. Expanded EV tax credits and feebates.
Ban sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2030
Radical car scrappage scheme to increase EVs
Massive public investment in domestic manufacturing of zero-emissions vehicles and parts, including advanced batteries
Federal investments to support EVs made in America by union workers
Rapid electrification of federal government vehicle fleet. Partnerships with other levels of government to accelerate electrification, increase market demand
Public finance to switch gas/diesel buses to electric
Grants, tax credits and feebates to buy a new EV, trade an older car for an EV
Electric vehicles: exempt from sales tax
Investment to replace all diesel trailer trucks with long-range EVs
Public financing to support employee use of public transit and telecommuting
Improve roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructures
End High-Speed Rail and bad road projects; funds to local rail, cycling, public transport
Sustainably powered rail freightCreation of rail freight interchanges
Electrification of all railways
Sustainably produced biofuels from wood wastes and used vegetable oils
All passenger ferries electric or hybrid by 2030
Green freight transport program
Public investments to deploy zero-emission solutions for freight and shipping facilities at ports, as in Seattle
Become active in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation; carbon offsetting and emissions reduction scheme for domestic aviation; repeal tax breaks for private jets
International tax on aviation, shipping fuels
End airport expansions
Frequent flyer levy: sliding scale tax for those who take more than one flight a year
End tax breaks on aviation fuel
Work with International Maritime Organization to reduce shipping emissions; fee on use of bunker fuels
Massive retrofit program to make all existing homes sustainable.DiEM-25: passive house standard where possible.
Retrofit 4% of residential and commercial buildings each year for 25 yearsGND-UK: All buildings (30 million) by 2030 
Upgrade all buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency through electrification by 2030
Building and retrofitting of zero-carbon social and council housing and public buildings with lowest possible embedded carbon
100% zero carbon or net-zero for all new commercial and residential buildings
Expand low-income home energy assistance program
Tax credits for energy efficiency and electrification in new residential and commercial buildings, eg heat pumps, chillers, boilers
Public funding to train builders, inspectors, energy managers and maintenance staff in proven energy-saving strategies, based on ‘Green Supers’ training programs
All new homes to be sustainable, zero carbon by 2030 EW: by 2028
Create Zero Carbon Building Standard by 2023, partnering with states, stretch-codes
Replace all mobile homes with zero-energy modular homes
Equip every home with solar panels and heat pumps
Purchase and refurbish vacant private housing for public use
Eliminate fossil fuel use from all new and renovated federal buildings by 2023
Expand cohousing/shared space aspects in public accommodation
Provide all people with affordable, safe, adequate housing by 2030. BS: Build 7.4 million safe, decent, accessible affordable homes. JI: Numerous measures to achieve construction of 7 million affordable rental homes. EW: $500 billion over ten years to build, preserve, and rehab units that will be affordable to lower-income families, reduce rents by 10%
GP Canada – 250,000 new affordable homes, 150,000 rehabilitated homes by 2030, funded through Canada Infrastructure Bank
Fossil Fuels12345678910
Complete phase-out of fossil fuels.GP-US: 2030.  BS: 2050. GPC: 2050
Orderly wind-down of fossil fuel companies
Work with provinces, First Nations and public to develop Pan-Canadian Energy Strategy; redeploy all government NRCan resources and agencies to achieve zero carbon by 2050
Buy out and decommission fossil fuel assets
Ban export and import of all fossil fuels, including coal and LNG
Ban offshore drilling
Bitumen (oil sands) production phased out 2030-2035
Ban fracking (in US, work with Congress)JI: Interim legislation to restrict frackingGP-US: Complete phase-out by 2030
BS: Keep fossil fuels on public lands in the groundJI: Ban all new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and onshore waters. Cancel and refuse to extend all existing fossil fuel leases. Work with Congress to implement permanent ban on fossil fuel leasing on public lands and coastal areas.
End all new federal fossil fuel infrastructure permits, including Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines, TransMountain pipeline, power plants and export terminals
End all fossil fuel subsidies and loopholes (US $26 billion/year)
Divest federal pensions from fossil fuels. Reinvest in clean energy. Use executive action to pressure financial institutions, universities and institutional investors to divest
Transform DoE Office of Fossil Energy into Office of Industrial Decarbonization, funding advanced research, innovative materials science and industrial-use carbon capture
Create Presidential Commission on Energy Transition to implement federal policies to phase out domestic fossil fuel production and ensure a just transition for fossil fuel workers and communities.
Restrict fossil fuel corporations’ use of eminent domain to build roads etc across private property
Increase royalty rate on oil and gas production on federal lands and offshore waters; close coal industry federal leasing loopholes
Require fossil fuel infrastructure owners to buy federal fossil fuel risk bonds to pay for disaster impacts at the local level
Prosecute and sue the fossil fuel industry for the damage it has caused; use income to remunerate devasted communities
Enforce and mandate taxes and fees on fossil fuel companies and other polluters to hold them accountable for damage; re-instate Superfund taxes; repeal Trump tax cuts that resulted in windfall profits for corporations
Impose sanctions on corporations and entities that threaten national emissions reduction goals
Appoint judges who will uphold and respect US environmental and climate law
Price on Carbon12345678910
Carbon tax. US-GP: $60/tonne, rising by $15/20 annually
Carbon fee on all GHGs, starting low and rising aggressively
Carbon fee-and-dividend.DiEM-25: Start low with a dividend payable within a few months. Low income groups receive more in dividends than they pay in carbon fees. 
Reject cap-and-trade systems
Environmental damages tax on air pollution
Climate adjustment duty at the border on imported goods with high embodied GHGs
The Other GHGs: Methane, Nitrous Oxide, HFCs, SF6, Black Carbon12345678910
Regulate reduction of CO2, methane and HFCs
Require fossil fuel corporations to repair infrastructures to end methane leaks
Immediate action to phase out HFC super-pollutants, ratify the UN Kigali Amendment
Launch a new nitrous oxide management strategy
Support global black carbon reduction strategies
Food and Farming12345678910
Restore natural ecosystems that increase soil carbon storage, such as land preservation and afforestation
Establish climate targets for all components of the food system
Redesign public agricultural funding to benefit local businesses and sustainable farming that supports wildlife and plant life
Work collaboratively with farmers to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
Fund research and extend support to support transition to regenerative agriculture
Set targets to reduce use of pesticides; assist farmers to move to organic/regenerative farming; ban neonicotinoid pesticides
Ban forestry, cosmetic and pre-harvest use of glyphosate herbicides
Legislate against inhumane treatment of farm animals; phase out intensive factory farming
Carbon farming initiative to pay farmers for sequestrating carbon in the soil; capture methane
National agro-ecology development bank
Regional colleges of food and farming
Grow much more fruit, veggies, nuts and pulses domestically
Replace 1/3 of Canada’s food imports with local production
Increase funding for Conservation Stewardship Program. JI: from $1 to $3 billion.EW: From $1 to $15 billion; expand types pf practice eligible for compensation
Eliminate use of fossil-fuel based pesticides and fertilizers by 2030
National standard to reduce nitrogen fertilizer
Work with farmers and ranchers to remove GHGs by supporting family farming, investing in sustainable practices that increase soil health
Transition to new organic farmers for farmers at end of Conservation Reserve Program contracts
Incentivize community ownership of farmland
Funding for farmers to grow and harvest advanced low-carbon sustainable biofuels
Break up big agribusiness monopolies, enforce antitrust laws
Hold Big Ag accountable for environmental abuses, pay full environmental costs
Develop supply management and grain reserve systems
Reform patent law to prevent predatory lawsuits from agribusinesses like Bayer/Monsanto
Reform US agricultural subsidies so that more goes to small and medium farms, instead of 77% to largest 10% of farms
JI: USDA to drive innovation in enhancing ecosystem services, new revenue streams for farming communities, sound farming practices. Deployment of Next-Generation Clean Energy Extension Services.EW: re-invest in land grant universities
JI: Launch ARPA-Ag to promote innovation and advanced research in agriculture, long-term natural carbon storage, bio-energy, zero-water-waste agricultural practices.EW: Farming Innovation Fund
Low-interest public financing for transition to eco-agricultural practices, agroforestry and soil restoration
Low-interest public financing for rewilding marginal areas and creating wildlife corridors
Low-interest public financing for shift to organic meat production, from CAFOs to ‘good quality meat’, non-meat protein sources
R&D to develop non-chemical farming techniques and seed varieties
Protect right of farmers to save own seed
Develop a Common Food Policy to end conflicting policy objectives and hidden costs in international food trade, accelerate agro-ecological transition
Invest $36 billion in victory lawns and gardens to grow food or for reforestation. There are 40 million acres of lawn in America.
Invest $14.7 billion in cooperatively-owned grocery stores. Incentivize schools to procure locally-produced food
Expand the US Farm-to-School program 100-fold. Turn it into a $1 billion Farm-to-People program in which all federally-supported public institutions including military bases and hospitals partner with local, independent farmers to provide fresh local food
Increase USDA’s Local Agriculture Market Program 10-fold to $500 million/year to fund food hubs, distribution centers and points-of-sale for rural and small town communities
Assist young people, women and people of color to farm the land, including student loan forgiveness. EW: Allow heirs’ property owners to access USDA, FEMA and HUD programs
Invest $160 billion to solve hunger and reduce methane emissions  through reduced food waste, food recovery and composting
Secure universal access to healthy sustainable food for generations to come by 2030
National transition to sustainable consumption
Support urban farming, community gardens
Low-interest public financing for transition to ecological fisheries management
More funding for fish stocks research, protect endangered stocks
Move all fish-farming to the land
Major investment in federal forest land, state and local partnerships to capture the full carbon storage potential of reforestation, address the millions of acres of forest not under best management practices.
Reward carbon removal in forests by investing in and financing improved management in private forests, reforestation of marginal farmlands, long term forest protection through conservation easements and incentives
Pursue federal-state-local collaboratives to capture full forest carbon storage potential
Use sustainable biomass from forestry thinning to protect forests, make renewable materials and create jobs
Prioritize  federal commodity sourcing from low-deforestation sources for beef, soy, palm oil, and wood products
Work with partners to enforce regulation of illegal logging and trade in endangered timber species
Promote deforestation-free supply chains and certified commodities such as palm oil, FSC timber, fair trade
Develop non-commercial forest management
National forest strategy to restore forests as carbon sinks
Rapid large-scale tree-planting programme.GND-UK: 75 million trees a year
The Military12345678910
Cut military spending by at least half. Cease maintaining bases all over the world to safeguard fossil fuel supplies and oil monarchies, saving $5 trillion over ten years
Evaluate current and historical costs of protecting US oil supplies around the world (estimated at $81 billion/year), seek ways to recover the costs
Require the Pentagon to achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030
DiEM-25: Reshape WTO rules to integrate sustainability and GND into WTO. EW: Protect green policies, subsidies and preferential treatments from WTO challenges; create a ‘non-sustainable economy’ designation that would allow tough penalties on countries with systemically poor labor and environmental practices.
Enact and enforce trade rules, standards and protections to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas and grow domestic manufacturing
End secrecy in trade negotiations; ensure that environmental, consumer and labor representatives outnumber corporate interests on trade advisory committees. Make draft agreements public, giving everyone opportunity to comment.
Revise the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to include enforceable labor, environmental and climate standards
Establish labor, human rights, climate, corruption and tax evasion standards as a precondition for entering any trade agreement; renegotiate existing agreements to meet these standards
Ensure that America’s trading policies support the transition to clean energy and promote continuous carbon reductions across nations
Increase trade barriers on fossil fuels and products causing or resulting from deforestation practices; lower tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers on climate solutions goods and services
Terminate all Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms
Economy, Business, Industry12345678910
Rewire the whole economy for sustainability
A Green Industrial Revolution, huge investment in new technologies, green industries
Declining legal emissions limits for industries, penalties for exceeding limits
Democratize the economy; transform corporate ownership through citizens wealth and ownership funds
Change company law and accounting law to require legally enforceable reporting on progress to carbon neutral
Require annual corporate reporting on climate risks, GHG reductions targets, fossil fuel holdings and deforestation-related investments
New social and ecological wellbeing indicators to replace GDP
Transition funding for businesses conditional on sustainability, democracy and social justice progress
Spur massive growth in clean manufacturing; remove pollution and GHGs as far as technologically possible by 2030
Support manufacturing leadership with an uncapped Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit to incentivize expanding clean energy industries such as wind turbines and batteries; credits conditional on strong worker wages and protections
Federal ‘Buy Clean’ program for procurement of low carbon materials such as steel, cement, glass, iron, concrete; federal incentives for corporate buyers
Public funding for technical assistance and skills-training
Ensure a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies
Jobs created using public financing to have workers on boards with share of voting power, % of annual profits re-invested in community projects; worker-owned fund
Make public financed transition to zero-carbon for companies conditional on transformation of industrial and labor practices.
Encouragement for transition to more participatory management, workers on board of directors, minimum 33% of votes.
Employers to place a portion of their equity in a fund for annual worker dividends
Major award for companies that excel at sustainability and labor transformations, similar to Roosevelt’s Patriot Award in Great Depression.
Transition to a zero-waste circular economy throughout the supply chain. DiEM-25: Ecolabelling and green taxes. BS: Mandate a corporate take-back program for materials recycling. GND-UK: Replace extractive with regenerative economy   
Extend guarantees to ten years; Community Repair Hubs; Community Remakeries
‘Right to Repair’ legislation
Transitional cap on annual material throughput, tightened every year
Legislation to encourage materials re-use, drastically reduce material extraction
Obligation on companies to make all products repairable and recyclable, take back old goods for recycling and re-use
Supply chain management legislation based on principles of global justice and life-cycle thinking
Local and Regional Economies, Frontline Communities12345678910
Comprehensive just transition planning and funding for affected communities
Address regional economic imbalances and areas of deprivation
Green economy network, enhancing cooperation between cities, regions and rural communities
Encourage worker owned coops, public and community-owned enterprises, with clear sectoral targets
Regional economic development a priority
Local and community wealth-building strategies; Preston model
GND sets conditions for local content in supply chains. Local/regional development agencies maximize community economic benefit
Public investment in communities impacted by the transition out of fossil fuels; bottom-up locally driven economic and workforce development strategies
Guarantee that 40% or more of federal investments to build a clean energy economy will go to frontline communities facing greater burdens of pollution, income inequity and climate impacts
Form White House Council on Environmental Justice; Department of Justice Office of Environmental Justice
Require Community Benefits Agreements to ensure that new investments create broadly shared public value, supporting green buildings, affordable housing, job training and Project Labor Agreements
Public financing for projects with increased citizen participation in investment decisions, local ownership
Establish a Transformative Climate Communities Program modeled on California’s. Invest 100% of its funding in building capacity, organizing, developing and implementing sustainability plans led by disadvantaged communities
Incentives for authorities to set up local public financing agencies with democratic engagement to steer GND investment decisions
Public funding for community-defined projects and strategies. BS: Special focus on just transition for frontline communities, environmental justice principles, low-income and disadvantaged communities. JI: Relaunch Sustainable Communities Initiative; locally driven bottom-up community development plans
Direct investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry and businesses, and build wealth and community ownership, especially in frontline and vulnerable communities
Workers, Jobs12345678910
Guarantee decent jobs for all, focused on local and municipal investments. The government as employer of last resort.
Guaranteed livable income/Basic Income
Federal minimum wage $15/hour
Care Income for full or part-time care work
Shorter 4-day working week for all
Public financing to subsidize a 3-year transition to a 4-day week without loss of pay
Guarantee a job for all people, with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security
Just transition, increasing the number of well-paid, unionized green jobs
Ensure a just transition and guaranteed support for energy workers and communities.BS: Up to five years wage guarantee, job placement assistance, free four-year college education or vocational training, benefits based on previous salaryJI & EW: Also promote businesses owned by women and people of color; apprenticeships; prevailing wages determined through collective bargaining; community workforce and project-labor agreements
A ‘G.I. Bill’ for impacted workers and community coal reinvestment. Shore up and stabilize pension funds; continued guaranteed access to health insurance coverage; access to training.
Tax credits for clean energy projects; full credit only if employers pay union wages, hire union labor, seek out women- and minority-owned contractors
Create millions of jobs delivering the transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.BS: Tax credits to hire workers in transition
Ensure that GND creates high quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hire local workers, offer training, guarantee wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition
Strengthen and protect the right of all workers to organize and unionize. Repeal provisions of the federal Taft-Hartley Act that permit so-called ‘right to work’ laws in states
Repeal all anti-union laws, facilitate worker-led activism on social, political, climate issues
Transform large companies by letting workers elect at least 40% of the board to give them a voice in decisions about wages, outsourcing
Incentivize municipalities to co-enforce labor law and standards such as wage laws by contracting with labor unions and community organizations
Create a minimum federal clean energy wage averaging $25/hour for skilled workers in federal-funded clean energy/climate solutions jobs
Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024, pegged to median hourly wage thereafter; modernize overtime rules to properly compensate workers who work more than 40 hours a week
Just transition, priority on providing assistance to workers and low-income communities, communities of color and workers dependent on fossil fuel, nuclear and weapons industries
Reject anti-union back-to-work legislation
Education and Training12345678910
Fund resources, training and high-quality K-12 and higher education for all people; focus on frontline/ vulnerable communities
Radical programme to upskill workforce to develop, manufacture and manage greening of the UK
Sustainable Generations Fund invests in training, apprenticeships, education for transition
Free post-secondary education
Forgive student debt held by federal gov’t
Leverage public procurement to maximize opportunities for social hiring
Triple the number of people participating in apprenticeships by 2030
Invest in K-12 + higher education STEM and climate change education
Student loan debt-forgiveness for graduates entering clean energy, sustainability climate science-related jobs.
Climate Corps puts young people to work on climate solutions, developing skills and training to thrive in new clean energy economy. (a) National Climate Service Corps, learning how to retrofit buildings, install solar panels; (b) Global Climate Service Corps, work overseas with local partners on climate resilience, solutions, clean water, sustainable economic development; (c) Green Careers Network to build a permanent career ladder through investments in skills-training, apprenticeships and on-the-job education.
21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps for 10,000 young people
National Nature Service for young people to develop a regenerative rural economy
Community and Environment Service Corps, $1 billion a year
Social and Community Services12345678910
Tackle fuel poverty and assure everyone’s basic rights through provision of universal services
Integrated health and care standards; direct public financing resources to regions with lower standards
Massive public financed investment in regional and municipal experimentation on new ways to deliver services, encouraging cooperative ownership and collaborative job design (as in Bologna)
Public financing for dramatic expanded investment in community wealth – community centers, libraries, parks, childcare
Provide all people with high quality health care by 2030
Research and Development12345678910
Create National Institutes of Clean Energy. Prioritize research in hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as aviation and shipping and long-duration grid storage.
National network of GND Research hubs
Reject geo-engineering
Public investment in R&D for climate solutions, clean and renewable energy technologies and industries
R&D to dramatically reduce cost of energy storage
R&D to reduce the cost of new EV to $18,000
R&D to decarbonize Industry, aviation and shipping by 2050. JI: by 2045
Invest in scientific research. Support Canada’s Fundamental Science Review
Public Infrastructure12345678910
Guarantee universal clean air and water for all by 2030
Public investment in crumbling neighborhood public schools
Public investment in expansion of broadband infrastructure. DiEM-25: Include community-owned ISPs and platform cooperatives wholly owned by workers.
Public financing investment in a National Data Commons to unlock the power of aggregated data for the common good
Anti-trust laws:break up media conglomerates
Banking, Finance and Tax12345678910
Financial sector transition from ecologically destructive to cooperative democratic
Separate commercial and investment banking activities
Establish public investment banks
5% surtax on bank profits, not credit unions
Adopt multi-stakeholder governance for central bank
Fast-track development of a taxonomy defining sustainable economic activities
Fast-track agreed criteria for green bonds
Design global punitive capital requirements for investments in fossil fuel heavy and environmentally destructive projects and businesses
Legislation and credit guidance to end financing of climate, environmental and social breakdown, require rapid divestment from fossil fuels
Annual Citizens Dividend, financed by carbon fee and other sources
Close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy
Leadership in shutting down the tax havens
Financial transactions taxDiEM-25: to raise finance for climate justice reparations, replace forced borrowing  
Appoint officials to US Securities and Exchange Commission who will prioritize enforcement action and corporate disclosure on climate risk exposure; enforce existing SEC rules, monitor climate risk for insurance companies
Support investors’ ability to file shareholder proposals on climate change
Encourage rules requiring US banks to report annually on fossil fuel debt and assets, insurance companies to report on fossil fuel risk premiums
Reform lending and debt restructuring rules to recognize carbon constraints and the use of oil company reserves as collateral regardless of producibility relative to climate targets
Enable credit rating agencies to become educated about the physical and financial risks of company investment holdings, to avoid a future climate-driven financial crisis
Direct the Financial Stability Oversight Council to integrate climate risk into its annual reports
Work to restructure all finance to make it transparent, democratised and sustainable
Promote GND at international and regional forums including WTO
Countries with a low or zero carbon price to add export taxes/tariffs on fossil-fuel-based exports
Export finance for fossil fuels projects transferred to clean energy
End UK aid support for fossil fuel projects in the Global South
Support developing countries’ climate transitions through free or cheap transfers of finance, technology and capacity
Welcome climate refugees while taking measures against displacement of peoples from their homes
Offer results of public R&D free/cheap to countries in the Global South
Promote international exchange of technology, expertise, products, resources and services to learn from and help other countries achieve a Green New Deal
Use tariffs and import quotas to relocalize manufacturing and support diversified, self-sustainable economies around the world
Make foreign aid conditional on inclusion of climate and environmental goals
Promote the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding and services to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal
Invest $200 billion in UN Green Climate Fund to help less-industrialized countries reduce emissions, goal of 36% below 2017 by 2030
Prohibit World Bank, IMF, OECD and other multilateral institutional investment in fossil fuels. Redirect to clean energy
Work to end all fossil fuel subsidies across the world
Prioritize climate security in the UN Security Council; appoint an ambassador to the UN who understands the urgency of the climate emergency
$100 billion over ten years Green Marshall Plan to provide American clean energy technology to developing countries and countries hardest hit by the climate crisis, and as incentive for regulatory changes that reduce emissions.
Increase Canada’s contribution to Green Climate Fund and Global Environmental Facility to $4 billion/year by 2030
Financing the Green New Deal12345678910
BS: 16.3 trillion over ten yearsJI and EW: $3 trillion over ten years leveraging $6 trillion in private investmentGP=US: $7-$10 trillion over ten years. $4 trillion for public works program, $2+ trillion for renewable energy transition.GND-UK: $125 billion a year for ten years          
Central Bank Green Quantitative Easing using Green Bonds
Cost of decarbonization borne by the wealthiest through progressive taxation, not working people and their families.
Revamp Canada Infrastructure Bank to exclude private profit in infrastructure investments, invest in climate-proofing
Local governments ok to issue Green Bonds
Pensions subsidies used to require investment in green bonds: £50 billion pa
Pension tax incentives linked to requirement to invest 25% in green bonds: £20 billion pa
Use of government procurement to channel resources into local GND expenditures
$90 billion Green Bank for clean energy
Building retrofits/solar: direct grants, zero-interest loans
Ultra-Millionaire Tax on America’s 75,000 richest families: $2.75 trillion over ten-years
Make the fossil fuel industry pay for its pollution; eliminate fossil fuel subsidies; slash military spending that maintains global oil dependence; raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans; and more.
Green bonds issued by public banks, purchased by private sector. To ensure that the bonds do not lose their value the central bank would announce a readiness to purchase them if yields rise above a certain level, guaranteeing the bonds on secondary markets
Public banks and other public financing
Move away from public-private financing; ensure that decisions about and benefits of public investments remain in public hands
Oil Legacy Fund, financed by a tax on the assets of oil and gas companies
Massively raise taxes on corporate polluters’ and investors’ fossil fuel income and wealth; penalties for fossil fuel pollution

From A Message from the Future

The analysis speaks for itself, but having been immersed in reading the ten plans I will share a few observations. Taken together, the scope and depth of these proposals is tremendous. They indicate a clear consensus about the changes that are needed and the urgency which which they are needed. This is really encouraging. Now we need to elect progressive politicians in large numbers so that they can overcome the opposition and make the plans a reality. Having said that, however, most of the plans have limitations:

Ecological Emergency

Only DiEM-25 and GND-UK acknowledge that we are in an ecological emergency as well as a climate emergency. We are a long way from a proper understanding of the policies and measures needed to tackle this parallel emergency.

The Power of Central Banks

Only DiEM-25 and GND-UK appear to understand the power of a central bank has to fund some or all of a Green New Deal. This can be done both directly, using its ability to print money to tackle the climate emergency just as it did in 2008 to save the banks, and indirectly, through the sale of tax-free green bonds, their market value being guaranteed for investors by the Central Bank’s use  of its money-creating powers to guarantee the purchase of the bonds, eliminating risk of worthlessness. We’re talking about Green Quantitative Easing or Quantitative Easing for People.

  • In America, action is needed in Congress to scrap the 1930s legislation that Wall Street lobbied for that prohibits the Federal Reserve from creating money for the common good, and to harness the Fed’s money creation and lending powers to help finance major public objectives.
  • In Europe, the indication is that if the British government or the European Commission were to say so, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank could act accordingly.
  • In Canada, a persistent legal attempt has failed to get the government to acknowledge that since the bank is public it can create money to meet public needs. Legislation is therefore probably needed to re-assert what is already a reality.

As an indication of what’s possible, in September 2019 the European Central Bank announced that it would pump $22 billion a month into Europe’s financial markets in a new effort at economic stimulus. The money will pump up the price of stocks, commodities, housing and land, making the affordable housing crisis even worse, when it could be injected directly into the grassroots of the economy in the form of climate solutions bonds, green energy bonds or affordable housing bonds.

The Power of Public Banks

Similarly, several of the GNDs appear not to appreciate the essential role of public banks, and their ability to create money for loans at zero or very low interest. This is how Germany has been financing its building retrofit program, through the publicly-owned KfW Development Bank. Ellen Brown and the movement for public banking in the US understand this well.

Community Engagement

None of the GNDs has embraced the importance of community-wide engagement, both to increase understanding of the emergencies among the public, where it is often dim or non-existent, and to overcome the propaganda of the climate-denying media, and to take personal actions to reduce our emissions in our homes, schools and businesses. GND policies are needed to remove barriers and create incentives, but full mobilization will require widespread citizen engagement. In World War II, in Britain, victory would not have been possible without the millions of people who volunteered to help the Red Cross, the YMCA, the Women’s Voluntary Service, the St John Ambulance Brigade, Oxfam, and the Home Guard, which by June 1940 had 1.5 million volunteers on its list. The GND needs to provide funding and support for a similar level of community engagement.

Annual Emissions Reductions

None of the GNDs has recognized the need for legally binding legislation that requires a government to achieve annual reductions according to a fixed carbon budget, as Britain has legislated. Distant goals induce bureaucratic and political sleepiness, so personal financial consequences will be needed for all members of a cabinet which collectively misses the goals.


Only GND-UK gives the attention needed to cycling as a serious means of future transportation and urban calming.


Only Jay Inslee and the Green Party of Canada seem to have appreciated the importance of carbon sequestration and storage in forests, and the need for widespread changes to forest management practices. Inslee doesn’t mention ending the ecologically harmful, carbon-destroying practice of clearcutting, but that’s what’s needed.


Only GND-UK and Lab-UK emphasize the importance of mass tree-planting to sequestrate carbon. Bernie Sanders mentions it in passing as a youth activity.

Meat and Dairy

Only DiEM-25 is willing to tackle the problem of meat and dairy, the production of which is responsible for 15% of global emissions. The others all shy away.

Oceans and Fisheries

Only DiEM-25 and the Green Party of Canada include plans for a sustainable ocean and fisheries, and (DiEM-25) for blue carbon capture in the oceans

The Other GHGs

Only Jay Inslee includes plans to reduce HFCs, nitrous oxide and black carbon. None of the plans addresses the need to eliminate SF6, sulfur hexafluoride, a heat-trapping gas that is 23,500 times more powerful than CO2, and is used widely in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents.


Only GND-UK proposes a frequent flyer levy to reduce aviation emissions, with one flight per person per year being free of the levy, as the New Economics Foundation in Britain has proposed.

Economic Growth

And finally, none of the GNDs wants to put its toes in the troubled waters of questioning future economic growth, or how a future without growth could still bring prosperity and wellbeing.

In Conclusion

This analysis says nothing about the technical viability of plans to generate 100% of electricity by 2030, reduce emissions by 50-60% or 100% by 2030, or achieve full decarbonization by 2030 or 2050. Most of the plans reference sources, but here is not the place to discuss them.

Nor does it say anything about the political viability of the proposals, the democratic challenges that they will involve, or the opposition they will face from vested carbon interests. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both expressed a clear understanding elsewhere of the need to remove corruption and the power of money from US politics, clearing the field for strong healthy democracy. Europe faces similar and different challenges.

I have done this analysis before reading Ann Pettifor’s newly published The Case for a Green New Deal, or Naomi Klein’s newly published On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal. When I have read them, I will update this analysis accordingly.

Many thanks to Avi Lewis for his advice on parts of this document.

If the creators of the GNDs wish to make corrections or additions, I welcome that. You can contact me at guydauncey@earthfuture.com.



[1] Jay Inslee, 2019 Climate Mission