By Daniel J. McLaughlin
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have only been in office for a matter of months, but the young Democrat has brought forward one of the most ambitious plans to tackle climate change.
The Green New Deal is a 10-year plan to address climate change and inequality in the United States.
It is starting to catch on beyond the States, with other countries looking for something similar to the Green New Deal.
However, it has been attacked as "draconian" that would bankrupt the nation.
An editorial in The Guardian calls the Green New Deal "probably the most fashionable policy in the English-speaking world", saying that Ocasio-Cortez ought to be congratulated twice over.
They argue that the Green New Deal is needed now, and say that "policymakers ought not [to] wait for economic theory to catch up with the environmental crisis".
The Green New Deal rejects economic orthodoxy to confront climate change, but that does not mean it is not economically viable.
It makes the economy "both greener and more equitable", and calls for a reduction in the inequality of income and wealth. This is essential, the Guardian argues, given that the world’s richest 10 per cent are responsible for half of carbon emissions.
They explain: "It sees large public spending to transform the US economy with an industrial base that would be net-zero in carbon emissions in a few decades. The plan is to create good job opportunities as the economy is made sustainably viable for the future."
The editorial concludes: "Humanity will run out of limited global resources long before the US runs out of dollars.
"Britain needs something like Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. And we need it now – before it is too late."
However, Fox News' Joe Bastardi calls the Green New Deal "a recipe for economic disaster that would hurt every American".
He says it is "fantasy-based", and it would "increase spending by an unachievable level to combat climate change".
According to the American Action Forum, the Green New Deal would cost at least $93 trillion over the first 10 years. Bastardi says it works out to be about $600,000 for every US household.
He argues: "Carbon dioxide (which we all exhale every time we breathe) and other greenhouse gases that are believed to cause global warming are emitted all over the world and cross borders.
"So reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Iowa won’t slow climate change if emissions of the gases go up in India, Iran and Indonesia."
Bastardi adds that taking "draconian steps" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US would only prevent the planet from warming by 0.01 degrees Celsius.
He concludes: "Bankrupting our nation, taxing the American people at impossible levels, and sending our economy into a depression are too high a price to pay for reducing the rise in global temperatures by 0.01 degrees Celsius.
"While the Green New Deal may sound good at first glance, it looks very different when you examine the terrible harm it would cause to our nation and to the American people."
Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, was elected to the House of Representatives in the November midterms. The New Yorker won the 14th district with 78 per cent of the vote.
She assumed office on January 3 this year. A month later, she submitted her first piece of legislation, the Green New Deal, to the Senate with Senator Ed Markey. It is a 10-year plan to phase out fossil fuels in the United States, addressing climate change and inequality.
The main goal is to bring greenhouse gas emissions down to net-zero, and at the same time, meeting 100 per cent of the power demand in the US through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources. This would need to be achieved by 2030.
Under the Green New Deal, the role of the federal government is to provide investments and funding for communities affected by climate change, repair or upgrade existing infrastructure to withstand extreme weather, invest in clean energy sources and renewables, and upgrade existing and new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency.