We firmly believe that the Green New Deal is a powerful and transformative platform for governments to reinvigorate critical public services and prepare our communities for a changed climate. But it is vital that we address legitimate criticisms and concerns leveled at the “Green New Deal'' title. The primary concern raised by critics of the Green New Deal center around it being used solely as a hollow name for the promotion of Green Capitalism or just a “greener business as usual” and not the truly grassroots-led and inspired structural change we need that will set us on a path towards climate justice. In politics, that is always a legitimate fear: that policy will be watered down, and there will be unintended or even foreseen consequences to the political decisions we make today. These are valid concerns, and in the spirit of procedural justice it is important that our coalitions and governments are aware of these critiques and pitfalls of the Green New Deal so we can collectively make wise, long-term, transformative change. Below we have highlighted meaningful critiques, made in good faith, to work towards greater justice and policy efficacy. Actively engaging with these criticisms and raising issues with the potential outcomes of select policies and programs is vital to creating more just, successful, long-term, and transformative climate justice politics.
This paper reviews 14 GND-style policy proposals across multiple levels of government, from municipal to multi-national, comparing their structure, level of detail, and goals. We find that GND frameworks are emerging as a new, multi-faceted policy approach to confront the complex, multiple drivers of climate change with greater scope than traditional market-based and behavior-based strategies.
This report explores GNDs and recommends that GNDs include: provisions forreparative justice, targeting of racial capitalism, policies and practices that move beyond imperial and colonial underpinnings, be globally and democratically oriented.
In this article, Matthew Hume explains, Why the Green New Deal Has Failed So Far. He claims the Green New Deal is set back by a Joe Biden presidency and there has been a failure in getting Green New Deal discussions and language out of the professional-class activist sphere. He warns that many activists around the Green New Deal have attempted to take shortcuts, and that the attempt to take on climate change without the organization of working class people will fail.
In his illuminating essay on the connections between colonialism and the ecological crisis, Vijay Kolinjivadi explains Why a 'Green New Deal' must be decolonial and provides three organizing principles for a decolonial Green New Deal: rethinking our relationship to nature and each other, reorienting the economy towards degrowth, decolonization, and delocalization, and eliminating the power imbalances in the Western development model.
Calvin Jones, professor at Cardiff university, critiques the Green New Deal in The problems of eco-capitalism He analyzes three possible barriers to the platform: the possibility of implementation under capitalism, the exclusion of personal consumption from the scope of debate, and its reliance on economic growth. He encourages a local economic approach to addressing the issue.
The Red Deal created by the Red Nation is a movement-oriented document for climate justice and grassroots reform and revolution. It calls the Green New Deal a step in the right direction, but defines the Red Deal as a call for action beyond the scope of the U.S. colonial state, which the Green New Deal does not attempt to be. The Red Deal is a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land that is committed to overthrowing colonialism and capitalism.
In Between the Devil and the Green New Deal Jasper Bernes focuses on an anti-capitalist perspective and asks: Can a Green New Deal work under capitalism? Can it smooth the transition away from capitalism? This article provides a sobering picture of the difficulty or even impossibility of a fully just transition without massive political mobilization and a break away from our current institutions and lifestyles.
In A Green New Deal needs to be global, not local, Andrew Taylor and Harpreet Kaur Paul reject the focus of Green New Deals on domestic and local green jobs and call for international worker solidarity and reparations from developed countries to those who are most impacted by climate change.
In Part I, and Part II, of "A Green New Deal Beyond Growth", Riccardo Mastini criticizes the Green New Deal from the perspective of the degrowth movement, which focuses on critiquing the capitalist system for pursuing growth at all cost as a source of ecological destruction. Mastini critiques current conceptions of the Green New Deal as being too tied to economic growth and promotes the decommodification of basic necessities as a means to dismantle the idea that growth is necessary to the wellbeing of workers. Mastini is a member of Green New Deal for Europe and Research and Degrowth, an academic collective.