With the 2018 midterm elections ushering in a new wave of Democrats determined to address the nation’s most pressing environmental issues, it is imperative that these new elected officials implement youth activists’ environmental ideas for the Green New Deal ( GND).
The GND is a proposed set of policies that would boost investments in clean energy, reducing our economy’s dependence on carbon-related activities and encouraging sustainable, environmentally-friendly infrastructure. Although its details remain unclear, the main point is simple -- clean energy and a less carbon-reliant economy.
However, newly-elected Democrats haven’t taken youth activists’ ideas and opinions into heavy consideration. These young people will be the ones facing the burden of climate change and related environmental issues in the future, so it only makes sense to add their voices to the already rising movement of Democrats currently in office.
While the idea of the GND has been around since 2007, previously proposed policies haven’t been able to pass through both the House and the Senate. Placing priority on the GND this time around could lead to concrete, substantial change -- but not without the unique perspectives and support of today’s youth activists.
Current Democrats should include the ideas of youth in the proposed GND, and implement their ideas into policy. Youth-dominated organizations like the Sunrise Movement deserve to have their hard work and ideas taken into consideration to craft a GND that satisfies the expectations of activists of all ages.
This means taking concrete steps towards an all-encompassing solution -- one that promises a better, brighter, and cleaner future. While GND policy will be headed by newly-elected Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the voices of the youth activists who fought for a conversation on climate change should not be forgotten.