Arlington Young Democrats Resolution:

Virginia Green New Deal

WHEREAS the Climate Crisis constitutes a growing threat to the populations of Virginia, the United States, and the world

WHEREAS the Climate Crisis was recently detailed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a threat that the world has as little as 12 years to act on

WHEREAS the IPCC detailed the simplest way to limit the Climate Crisis as limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius

WHEREAS the United States would need to reduce carbon emissions to net-neutral by 2030, and zero carbon emissions by 2050

WHEREAS Virginia contributes 103 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, marking it as the 18th most polluting state in the United States (as of 2014)

WHEREAS there is robust scientific evidence to show that the effects of climate change have already and will continue to be detrimental to human health, especially for vulnerable populations

WHEREAS reaching net-neutral carbon emissions is a challenge that involves all sectors of the economy

WHEREAS building an intersectional alliance of business, labor, advocacy, and science is the only way to face the challenge with a united front

WHEREAS the Democratic Party is the only political party dedicated to defending against the Climate Crisis

WHEREAS there are many different policies that can be put in place to attain this goal, and we will need most of them to succeed

WHEREAS the Green New Deal (GND) provides a political framework for these policies to be debated and implemented

WHEREAS thanks to Republican obstruction on the Federal level, it is imperative for State-governments to lead with their own Green New Deal frameworks

WHEREAS the Arlington Young Democrats represent a population of dedicated, progressive, young Democrats who desire a world not marred by an increasingly dire Climate Crisis

WHEREAS there is a chance that the Virginia legislature might flip to Democratic control in 2019, and that the 2020 session will be the best chance for a Virginia Green New Deal to be realized

WHEREAS the Arlington Young Democrats wish to make their priorities known

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the following positions and policies represent the priorities of the Arlington Young Democrats in a Virginia Green New Deal:

Industrial Transformation

  • Implement a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure and fossil fuel exploration
  • Establish an iterative planning of emissions and prices with set goals for 2030, 2040, 2050; 2035 for electricity
  • Develop offshore wind, land-based wind, and solar specific targets (under total clean energy targets)
  • Repeal HB2611, which prevents the implementation of a carbon-emissions Cap & Trade regime 
  • Provide tax incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles
  • Construct more electric car infrastructure
  • Emphasize manufacturing for wind turbines and solar plant parts
  • Tax incentives for businesses that go into former coal plant towns
  • Incentivize more businesses to install solar panels
  • Develop additional infrastructure to process recycling

Economic and Social Justice

  • Grant greater authority to local governments for energy consumption within their jurisdictions, including repealing the Dillon Rule
  • Mandate that all renewable energy and construction projects associated with the GND use Project Labor Agreements
  • That workers be fairly compensated for lost construction projects involving fossil fuels, including supporting union job training programs
  • A living wage for all workers in renewable energy projects
  • Enhance economic focus on renewable energy projects by capping investor-owned electric utilities executive salaries and compensation
  • That fossil fuel workers should receive at a minimum the same level of wages and benefits when they move to a new job
  • Explore more green space atop high density buildings
  • A total ban on single-use plastics and polystyrene containers
  • Increase regulation of livestock waste lagoons

Action Items

The Arlington Young Democrats call on members and allies to continue the dialogue and insist that local and state elected officials recognize the Climate Crisis and act on the Green New Deal framework. These actions include sending emails, letters, phone calls, the use of social media, and direct questioning when provided with the opportunity.

Furthermore, the Arlington Young Democrats call on members and allies to exert maximum political pressure during the next Virginia legislative session. As leading campaign volunteers and fundraisers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Arlington Young Democrats will not tolerate any abdication of duty, dismissiveness, or mediocre responses to the Climate Crisis amongst members of the Democratic Party.