With the “Green New Deal Champions” pledge, the left is reorienting for 2022—and 2030.

By Kate Aronoff, The New Republic

With prospects for comprehensive climate legislation looking dim, a number of congressional Democrats and several dozen progressive groups are set to unveil a “Green New Deal Champions” pledge for congressional candidates on Monday. It’s intended to further define what it means for both sitting and aspiring federal lawmakers to support the Green New Deal, adding meat to the bones of a framework critics have long accused of being both too broad and not specific enough.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey first introduced the original Green New Deal Resolution in 2019. But as of Monday, being a “Green New Champion” will mean not merely signing on to that resolution but backing a suite of nine bills that includes Green New Deals for Schools, Public Housing, and Cities. Though candidates are being asked to sign the pledge, it’s also a means of holding currently serving members to the same standards.

Hundreds of young people occupy Representative offices to pressure the new Congress to support a committee for a Green New Deal.

The pledge document provided to The New Republic clarifies that the list of included legislation, compiled through months of consultation between Hill staffers, climate groups, and unions, “is not exhaustive and does not represent every piece of legislation that would comprise the Green New Deal.” (Their emphasis.) Signatories also commit to organizing their colleagues and using their “committee, caucus, and/or leadership positions to advance the Green New Deal,” publicly advocating for it while contributing to and championing new bills that fulfill its “vision and ambition.” In addition, all signatories must reject donations of more than $200 from fossil fuel executives, lobbyists, and PACs. So far, 22 members of Congress meet the criteria outlined in the pledge, and 46 candidates have signed on. Partly as a result of the organizing effort that brought together the pledge—including asking members to sign on to additional Green New Deal bills—more than half of House Democrats are now signed on to that chamber’s original Green New Deal resolution, H.R. 109.

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