The Green New Deal may not have passed its first time around, but in many ways, the ambitious plan has been victorious. If you hadn’t already noticed, ever since the far-left policy was introduced, the climate debate has completely shifted—and what now counts as “moderate” is surprisingly muscular.
It’s remarkable: A number of polls suggest that Democratic voters now consider climate change to be a top-tier issue, as important as health care. Perhaps even more remarkably, the party’s presidential candidates seem to be taking that interest seriously. Jay Inslee has staked his candidacy on the issue; Beto O’Rourke has used a climate proposal to revive his flagging campaign, and Elizabeth Warren has cited the warming planet across a wide set of her famous plans. This week, Joe Biden joined their ranks, releasing a lengthy climate plan on his website.
Though Reuters teased his policy last month as a “middle ground” approach more moderate than the Green New Deal, the proposal looks pretty aggressive and sounds almost Bernie Sanders–esque in its ambition, calling for a “100 percent clean energy economy” in the United States by the year 2050. Without the Green New Deal, this sudden flurry of stringent climate policies from Democrats would have almost certainly never happened.