Democrats on Thursday unveiled a new agenda for climate change amid a backdrop of raging wildfires burning on the West Coast.
The plan also includes a bicameral resolution on racial injustice and economic recovery.
At least 79 members of Congress, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, back the THRIVE agenda, which stands for “Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy.”
“Our country is facing crises that are fatefully intertwined: tens of millions of people are unemployed, the COVID-19 pandemic rages, racial and economic injustice are rampant, and the climate crisis is accelerating,” Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), said in a statement. “We have an opportunity to not just recover from these interlocking crises, but to thrive by creating millions of good paying, union, clean, green jobs while building a more just, healthy, and stable economy that leaves no one behind.”
Proponents of THRIVE say it could create close to 16 million new jobs. The resolution also calls for the U.S. to commit to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius by solely running the U.S. power sector on carbon pollution-free energy by 2035.
A record 2.5 million acres have burned in California, while entire communities’ in Oregon and Washington were largely wiped out.
“It’s a terrible moment for us in California. … Wildfire ash is blanketing all of the areas beyond where the fire is, in the Bay Area, turning the skies to orange,” Pelosi, a lawmaker from California, said Thursday during a press conference. “It’s dark; it’s dark there. It’s morning and they’re waiting for the sun to come up and it’s dark all day. They need … to drive with their headlights on.”