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Christopher Rizzo and Karen Meara, Carter Ledyard & Millburn.

There has been extensive media focus on the Green New Deal introduced by U.S. Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in February 2019, with critics calling it both wildly overambitious (it calls for the United States to obtain 100% of its energy from renewable sources in 10 years) and unduly vague (it is a manifesto of climate action principles more than legislation). However, those critics may have missed the point. In the face of federal inaction on climate change, dozens of states and cities have already taken concrete steps towards decarbonization. The federal resolution (H. Res. 109, S. Res. 59) is drawing attention to, and in some cases momentum for, these local versions of “green new deals.”

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