Climate and public policy experts from across the country, including UC Berkeley professor Daniel Kammen, are calling for a $2 trillion Green Stimulus to rebuild the U.S. economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal’s authors aimed to develop a list of solutions that would collectively stimulate the economy while building a “healthy, clean, and just future,” according to the proposal. The proposal is receiving attention on Medium, where it was posted as an open letter and call to action to congressional lawmakers. The post also links to a Google form where readers can sign on as a signatory. As of March 24, the stimulus had about 1,200 signatures.
The proposal has 16 UC Berkeley signatories with campus ties, including several graduate students. Kammen, who teaches in both the Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy, is one of the proposal’s 11 co-authors.
“When I was visiting UPenn last month, several of us got together and compiled our notes,” Kammen said in an email. “It readily became an investment package that was not a give-away, but a focus on bringing jobs and the benefits of clean energy to the least served.”
The other authors are affiliated with prominent organizations and universities in New York, Florida and Texas, among others. Kammen added that the group came together as they have each been working on different things related to the Green New Deal, in academia and on 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns.
The group is proposing the Green Stimulus be enacted in addition to the COVID-19 relief bill President Donald Trump signed into law Friday, which comprised a $2 trillion relief package to aid the fight against the disease and relieve some of the country’s financial stress.
The Green Stimulus details eight practical policy interventions and provides specific steps to take that align with popularly adopted “just” principles for COVID-19 relief and stimulus, which ensure that health and all people are top priorities. The eight proposals range from intervention in practices involving farmers, food systems and rural communities to action to enact green foreign policy.
In the week since the Green Stimulus was made public, the response has been “very exciting,” Kammen said. He appeared on CNN last Saturday to discuss how environmental justice can be factored into solutions to the current crisis. He added that the authors have also been in contact with congressional members from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“Ironically, the COVID19 crisis foreshadows a number of elements of the climate crisis,” Kammen said in the email. “Because health gets so much more of a visceral reaction, we may be able to learn how to work together on issues like climate.”