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Event: The Green New Deal, Net-Zero Carbon, & The Crucial Role of Public Ownership (9/28)

Date: Sat, September 28, 2019
Time: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM EDT
Location: CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor, NYC

REGISTER HERE

Description

This conference has two main goals. The first goal is to show how both public ownership and a public goods approach is critical to achieving “zero carbon” and the other core objectives of the Green New Deal. The second goal is to make visible key struggles around ownership and control—including anti-privatization fights—that are taking place around the world , and how these struggles are leading to a “new internationalism” that puts both class and climate at the center of progressive politics.

Context: Climate Policy Failures and the Need for Radical Alternatives

Calls for a Green New Deal in the US have resonated around the world. Driven by concerns about climate crisis, the GND has also become a rallying cry for those who seek radical and urgent action to combat rising levels of inequality, racial injustice, as well as the rise of corporate power.

The GND has also endorsed the “net-zero carbon” target articulated in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and governments at national, state and municipal levels (including New York State and New York City) have adopted similarly ambitious climate goals.

But according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), effective action on climate change “would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” within a dozen years or less. Establishing targets, while important, are clearly not enough. Meanwhile, neoliberal policies aimed at “mobilizing private investment” in order to promote “green growth” have shown themselves to be completely incapable of even slowing the rise of emissions. These same policies have increased inequality, injustice, and precariousness all over the world.

The need for a radical change in policy is today indisputable. This realization has sparked a growing movement of unions and other allies that see the need to extend public ownership and democratic control over key economic sectors—such as energy, finance, and transportation—in order to ensure that the world has a fighting chance of addressing the climate emergency in ways that advance social and economic justice and equality.

Participants and Partners

We will be joined by unions and policy allies from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Uruguay, and the UK.

The meeting is being organized in partnership with: National Nurses United (NNU); New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA); United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE); Canadian Union of Public Employees; National Union of Public and General Employees (Canada);Transnational Institute; The Democracy Collaborative; Science for the People; DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group; #NationalizeGrid; Our Public Power (New York)New York Communities for Change.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The program will start at 9:00 a.m. and end by 5:00 p.m. Full program and speakers to be announced.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Feburary 19th, 2019

The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
An increasing number of Americans now see climate change as an imminent threat caused by humans. Sixty-four percent of voters also believe the U.S. should do more to respond to the crisis. Enter Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of 14th district of New York, the burgeoning Sunrise Movement, and the Congressional Resolution on the Green New Deal, released February 7th. In this installment of the New Labor Forum newsletter we make available to our readers an analysis of the Resolution by Sean Sweeney, NLF columnist and Director of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. Sweeney examines what have widely been characterized as the Resolution’s far-fetched proposals, and argues that “the magnitude of the climate crisis makes the half-measures and failed ‘market mechanisms’ of the mainstream in fact more unrealistic than the bold plans put forward by the Green New Deal.” We also include a link to the resolution itself, as well as two pertinent articles, one describing successful organizing by the residents of a majority-black community in Detroit to achieve public ownership and community control of utilities, and another article highlighting legislation in Maine to create a consumer-owned utility, with the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union. All of this is intended to spur discussion and inform action on the most urgent challenge of this era.

 

Table of Contents

  1. The Green New Deal’s Magical Realism/ Sean Sweeney, New Labor Forum
  2. Resolution on the Green New Deal/ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House of Representatives
  3. The Green New Deal Must Put Utilities Under Public Control/ Jackson Koeppel, Johanna Bozuwa and Liz Veazey, In These Times
  4. Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Proposed for Maine; Union Contracts to be Protected/ IBEW Local 1837

Photo credit: Dimitri Rodriguez via flickr (cc-by)