The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Ecosocialist Working Group applauds presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ groundbreaking Green New Deal policy plan. The Senator’s Green New Deal is not only an ambitious yet achievable proposal to avoid ecological breakdown and spare the world from its worst effects, but also build a world where we can all thrive.
Bernie’s plan would launch “the decade of the Green New Deal, a ten-year, nationwide mobilization centered around justice and equity during which climate change will be factored into virtually every area of policy, from immigration to trade to foreign policy and beyond,” while reaching 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030 and setting clear goals to fully decarbonize the entire economy.
Further, his plan makes clear whose side he’s on, with extensive provisions for a just transition that builds power for workers, Indigenous peoples, frontline communities, people of color, women, disabled folks, immigrants, youth, residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. colonies, and regions ransacked by neoliberalism. He even aims to foster conditions for true cooperation and solidarity among the international working class with the kind of massive mitigation and adaptation aid to nations of the Global South that the United States has been blocking in climate negotiations for decades.
Bernie’s plan provides a framework for a reimagined future where our lives and labor serve the collective good, everyone’s needs are met, and no one is left behind. His Green New Deal is a roadmap towards a future that is a public good; where nationwide programs could provide school meals that ensure no child goes hungry, Medicare for All makes healthcare a human right, agriculture is ecologically regenerative, internet infrastructure is publicly owned, and we collectively control our energy systems to provide free electricity for all. This is a vision of an economy that decommodifies universal needs for survival, massively expands public ownership of resources, and reinvents our communities to serve people and planet—rather than private interests monopolizing control and destabilizing climate systems for short-term gains.
In other words, Bernie isn’t just set on saving the world; he’s out to transform it to benefit all of us. His Green New Deal is the precondition for what we want beyond the next decade.
This isn’t just a solid $16 trillion plan of technical solutions. At the heart of Bernie’s Green New Deal proposal lies insight that we share as socialists: that the climate and ecological emergency is a symptom of class warfare, and it will take a massive working class movement overcoming the capitalist class to save life on Earth.
Unlike corporate Democrats, Bernie identifies the class enemies we must organize against and take down, from the fossil fuel industry to the military industrial complex and agribusiness, who will undoubtedly do everything they can to take him down (and us along with him). The fate these capitalists deserve is clear: “Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused.”
Bernie names the fossil fuel industry’s rapacious drive for profit over all else as the source of our problems, and says explicitly that he “will not leave it to the market to determine the fate of the planet.” He also specifically names the Pentagon as a massive source of emissions, promising to redirect funds from the massive military budget and “lead the planet in a wholesale shift away from militarism”—a distinct contrast from Democrats who propose to “green” the war machine without challenging the basis of U.S. imperialism.
Bernie’s plan illuminates our allies and illustrates how the climate crisis and our solutions must address everything from housing to immigration, all while considering everything from the international to the neighborhood level. The rest is up to us. We must step out of our siloes and organize a united mass movement that can win this Green New Deal against the rising tides of ecocidal fascism, and lay the groundwork to more fully enact the principles we’re all fighting for in a future beyond capitalism and colonialism.
In unions and communities, our members have already begun this work. Further, DSA—the largest socialist organization in the country—just unanimously passed a resolution to fight for a Green New Deal as a national priority. In other words, we’re just getting started.
Senator Sanders’ Green New Deal is what we need to get through the immediate climate emergency and come out on the other side with a future worth fighting for; we won’t settle for anything less. A better world is not only possible, but necessary. Together, we’ll win Bernie’s Green New Deal, a better world, and then an ecosocialist future that belongs to us all.
The DSA Ecosocialist Working Group Steering Committee