Our new study examines @AOC| @EdMarkey's GND resolution & @BernieSanders $16.3 trillion GND.

We address 2 questions:
(a) How can we pay for the #GND?
(b) In what ways do social welfare policies relate to tackling the climate crisis?

*Open access* (1/n)
As Congress just approved a $2.2 trillion #covid19 aid package—largest in modern US history—the “how will you pay for it?” question swiftly faded. Our study clarifies common fallacies connected to federal spending—this has direct implications 4 future #GND legislation (1c/n)
Why did we assess Bernie's #GND? Well firstly it developed @AOC- @EdMarkey #GND resolution into the most ambitious, fully-fledged, & financially costed GND. The cost of the plan garnered much critique, thus it represented an ideal case study for these questions (1d/n)
It's important 2 note the #GND won't be 1 single piece of legislation, but rather a roadmap for a broad spectrum of policies, programs & legislations 2b introduced by Members of Congress over coming months/years. The underlying debates remain even with @JoeBiden as nominee (1e/n)
The GND aims to (a) radically decarbonize economy & (b) rapidly reduce economic inequality, while protecting rights of vulnerable communities/workers.

With a looming recession the #GND offers an apt f/w for current aid needs/future fiscal stimulus (2/n)
Why? The #GND positions tackling structural inequality, poverty mitigation, & welfare state retrenchment at its centre. It sees the #ClimateCrisis as interlinked with deeply entrenched racial, regional & gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (3/n)
Bernie's $16.3T GND embeds climate solutions within an anti-inequality agenda

✅100% renewable energy
✅20 million jobs
✅7.4 million low-carbon 🏡
✅Electric 🚙 grants
✅Climate resilience programs
✅Green Climate Fund
✅Just transition

*BUT how would he pay for it?* (4/n)
The real question is not ‘how to pay for it’, but as @StephanieKelton et al. recognize, is: 'will the spending be inflationary?'

The US can create as much money as it likes & can never run out. Since 1971, $US have been “fiat” money – i.e. money created out of nothing (5/n)
The economic rational of the GND is based on Keynesian demand-side economics utilized by FDR during 1930s. A government creates as much $ as it needs to pay for its projects, and withdraws $ from circulation via taxes, fees & issuing of bonds in order to dampen inflation (6/n)
Not all the $16.3 trillion would have been additional spending. Bernie outlined that some would be offset by ending fossil fuel subsidies, reducing military spending selling energy by new gov. owned utilities, & saving on welfare payments due to the 20 million jobs created (7/n)
Bernie’s GND has 2 built-in ways 2 avoid inflation (a) put more goods & services into economy e.g. renewables & anything else his job-guarantee employees make➡️more goods & services for that extra $ to chase (b) pull $ back out of economy via > taxes & selling green bonds (8/n)
This has been tried before & it worked. It was John M. Keynes’ solution to financing the US & UK World War II efforts. And in #COVID19 times governments are now seeing the value of using the same economic tools we haven't used since WWII (9/n)
We found that Sanders’ GND could be financed without causing excessive inflation, provided US society is willing to accept tax increases for its wealthiest citizens reminiscent of those of the late 20th century (10/n)
Sanders GND’s use of Keynesian demand-side macroeconomics challenges governments, policymakers & citizens to think anew about the nature of money. Neoclassical economic assumptions must be challenged as they enable both climate destruction & inequality 2 continue (11/n)
PART II: In what ways do social welfare policies relate 2 tackling climate? And why is a fiscally redistributive approach needed to starve off climate chaos? We examined these Qs from a purely pragmatic perspective (i.e. CO2 reductions), leaving aside normative elements (12/n)
1. CO2 drops as inequality reduces. CO2 emissions of the wealthiest 1% are c. 20 times as large as US avg (Piketty). Increasing tax rate on the highest incomes by just a few % & redistributing the proceeds to the poorest households would significantly reduce CO2 emissions (13/n)
2. The super-wealthy esp. fossil fuel industry use their excess wealth to obstruct legislative & regulatory restrictions on emissions standards and climate policy. Weakening this stranglehold is a smart way to keep a clean energy future alive (14/n)
3. Emissions of poor households are often disproportionately high because they cannot afford energy efficiency upgrades. Building new low-carbon housing can act as a decarbonizing lever for the building sector, which contributes approximately 40% of US energy consumption (15/n)
4. A GND can maintain public support for rapid CO2 cuts. Carbon-centric approaches disproportionally impact lower-income families who spend > share of incomes on fuel/pub transit & will invariable generate backlash e.g. 🇫🇷 #YellowVests & protests in Chile, Ecuador & Haiti (16/n)
5. A green jobs program could break jobs vs. enviro debate that has hindered the acceptance of climate policies 4 decades. A GND has potential 2 create new political coalitions in favor of ambitious climate reforms. Working-class + climate movement needed for big C02 cuts (17/n)
6. Social welfare cuts disproportionately affected women, particularly WOC. Clean energy economy is dominated by men/lacks diversity. A GND calls 4 financial/social insecurity of these groups 2b addressed. A gender focus can also maintain > political coalitions 4 CO2 cuts (18/n)
8. Current US economy, taxation, utilities ownership structure, corporate lobbying power & extreme free-market orientation make it impossible 4 Gov. 2 act decisively & effectively in climate change mitigation. Sanders GND is a pragmatic response 2 overcome these obstacles (20/n)
In Sum:
1. Social welfare policies vital for CO2 cuts & builds
support 4 climate action
2. Sanders GND is pragmatic/necessary
3. GND can be paid 4 without causing excessive inflation
4. There is fiscal space: what’s needed is political will (21/21) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629620301067
Ps 1. In midst of a pandemic & climate emergency we desperately need policies that match nature, scale, & urgency of crises. A #GND, if done right, can est. urgent public health & economic safety nets 2 protect most vulnerable, & stave off climate chaos https://medium.com/@green_stimulus_now/a-green-stimulus-to-rebuild-our-economy-1e7030a1d9ee
Ps 2: Of course shout out to #GND guru's @KateAronoff @aldatweets @triofrancos @alybatt @triofrancos must read book "A Planet to Win: Why we need a Green New Deal"
You can follow @DrNoelHealy.
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