Politics

Boston City Council Votes to Support Green New Deal

Michelle Wu's resolution passed 9-3.


michelle wu

Photo via AP/Elise Amendola

The Boston City Council passed a resolution in support of the Green New Deal Wednesday, joining Democratic lawmakers in Washington in calling for federal action on climate change.

The resolution passed by a 9-3 vote. City Councilor Michelle Wu, the lead sponsor, said it was important for Boston to combat climate change on the local and national levels.

“The climate crisis is here now. We see it in Boston every single year,” Wu said, according to Boston.com. “We are working on it as much as we can at the city level, but we know this window is shrinking.”

The Green New Deal, proposed by Massachusetts’ own Sen. Ed Markey and Boston University alum Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, proposes major financial and structural changes within the next 10 years in an effort to combat climate change. It calls for a complete switch to zero-emissions renewable energy, overhauled transportation infrastructure, and limiting greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Wu cited a 2018 United Nations report that said the world has about 12 years to make changes major enough to mitigate the effects of climate change. Even with a number as terrifying as that, the Green New Deal still faces opposition in Washington. In late March, the Senate voted 57-0 to kill the proposal, with all but 4 Democratic senators abstaining from the vote in protest.

There’s also opposition to the bill right here in Boston. City Councilors Althea Garrison, Frank Baker and Mark Ciommo, voted against the resolution.

“That’s in Washington. We can’t tell the federal government what to do anyway, so why get involved in something you can’t do anything about?” Garrison told Boston.com after the vote. “We should mind our own business and take care of Boston affairs.”

But Wu says the resolution isn’t about Boston poking its nose into federal affairs. It’s about showing support for a very necessary plan of action.

“At some point the federal government has to wake up,” Wu said. “And I want to make sure that we’re doing our part to lend our voices to their current push.”

Markey is coming back to Boston with Rep. Ayanna Pressley next Thursday to kick off his Green New Deal tour. He joins climate and youth activists at the Strand Theatre to discuss the deal, how it will affect Bostonians, and the next steps to get it through Congress.