World

Sanders proposes US ‘Green New Deal’

By AAP Newswire

US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has unveiled a climate change strategy that would mobilise $US16.3 trillion ($A24 trillion) to help the US generate 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and achieve "full decarbonization" by 2050.

The plan would "launch a decade of the Green New Deal," a 10-year federal "mobilization" that would factor climate change into every policy action from immigration to foreign policy while promising to create 20 million jobs in the process.

The plan outlines dozens of policies aimed aggressively moving the United States off of fossil fuels in the electricity, transportation and building sectors, restoring US leadership and financial aid under the Paris Climate Agreement and pouring trillions of dollars to assist fossil fuel workers and vulnerable minority communities in the transition to a green economy.

It bans the practice of fracking to extract natural gas and oil, the import and export of fossil fuels and sets a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals.

"As President, Bernie Sanders will boldly embrace the moral imperative of climate change and mobilize the political will necessary for a wholesale transformation of our society, with massive investments in sustainable energy, energy efficiency, and a transformation of our transportation system," his plan says.

Sanders plan comes after several of his Democratic rivals - including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, Beto O' Rourke and Cory Booker - unveiled their detailed climate change strategies aiming to neutralise greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, responding to the growing importance of the issue to Democratic and younger voters.

More than half of the two dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls have endorsed or embraced the Green New Deal, a Congressional resolution introduced by rising star Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, which calls for a 10-year, government-driven mobilisation to decarbonise the economy through investments in clean energy, as well as social and economic justice programs.

The Green New Deal has become a political target of President Donald Trump - who denies human-caused climate change - and Republicans in Congress who call the plan socialist and radical and extremely expensive.

Sanders said his own Green New Deal plan will "pay for itself over 15 years" by raising taxes and fees on fossil fuel companies, through revenue generated by renewable energy produced by federal power authorities, over $US1 trillion ($A1.47 trillion) in scaling back military spending and from income tax collected from the 20 million new jobs it says the plan will create.