Just in case you thought Poland was the only place where activists were worrying about justice for everyone in the greenhouse era, good news today of a widespread call in the United States for building a green economy that's also a fair economy. Sixty groups from around the U.S. signed on to a letter to Barack Obama's environmental team asking that:
As you draft and debate proposals to stimulate the American economy, we strongly urge you to make the recovery package as green and as equitable as possible. We propose these principles as benchmarks against which all stimulus proposals – indeed, all energy-related proposals coming out of the new administration and Congress – should be measured. The stimulus must:
- Maximize investments in the transition to a green, inclusive economy.
- Focus on fixing, improving efficiency, and lowering energy costs for our existing infrastructure – our buildings, roads and bridges, transmission grid, public transit systems, and manufacturing plants – rather than on new development.
Promote high quality, family-supporting jobs here at home.
- Provide opportunities for under-served communities to access these high quality jobs, through investments in training programs and partnerships that promote career ladders and "pathways out of poverty."
- Drive funding to states, cities, tribes and communities, and allow them some freedom to decide where and how they invest in their own economies.
Meanwhile, the team on the receiving end of that lobbying got clearer today too, and it includes some real champions of the environment: former EPA secretary Carol Browner, Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, Lisa Jackson from New Jersey, and Los Angeles deputy mayor Nancy Sutley. This is a very different team than the one that has 'managed' energy policy for the last 8 years in the United States, and the news seemed to encourage delegates from around the world here in Poland.