Mid-Missouri students advocate for the Green New Deal
COLUMBIA – The mid-Missouri chapter of The Sunrise Movement organization is working to raise awareness about a new eco-friendly initiative.
The Sunrise Movement is a nationwide organization with a goal to stop climate change and promote passing the Green New Deal, a 2019 proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The Columbia chapter hosted a town hall Sunday at the Columbia Public Library to advocate for the proposal. It includes eco-friendly policies that aim to eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.
The Green New Deal aims to create government programs and jobs to make the U.S. less dependent on fossil fuels. Sunrise Movement members say those changes are “do or die”, especially for younger generations.
“We have 12 years to really cut emissions in half. And the way that things are looking right here, both politically, both nationally and locally, it’s looking a little grim,” said MU student, Emerson Davis.
The proposal is a nonbinding resolution, meaning it has no power to implement new legislation. Instead, it would encourage the House of Representatives to adopt the eco-friendly plans.
“We definitely need to do more than just talk about it,” said Olivia McGee, a Sunrise Movement member.
Members emphasized how passing the Green New Deal means the economy must move away from a competitive market and focus on cooperating to stop climate change. They also said it must be a public effort backed by the support of the government.
"We really can't trust private markets to do this on its own," McGee said.
They acknowledge that such a radical change will not come easily, but believe the growing pains from transforming the economy is necessary to preserve the environment.
As the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaches in April, the Sunrise Movement encourages community members to vote so more voices are heard and become active in the push for more environmental legislation.