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26 Nov, 2019 01:31

Make the world pay for it? ‘Green New Deal’ sponsor wants to sanction everyone for climate change ‘crimes’

Make the world pay for it? ‘Green New Deal’ sponsor wants to sanction everyone for climate change ‘crimes’

Green New Deal sponsor Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) is seeking to expand US sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act to foreign individuals and companies involved in “significant actions that exacerbate climate change.”

While Democrats have denounced President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern US border and make Mexico pay for it, Markey’s proposal seems to take that approach and apply it to the entire world, when US climate change efforts are concerned.

“As we fight to enact a Green New Deal here at home, we must use all of the tools or our foreign policy to change the behavior of companies and individuals most responsible for exacerbating the climate crisis,” Markey said on Monday, announcing his new bill.

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The 2012 Magnitsky Act, expanded to the entire globe in 2016, allows the US government to ban all trade with – and seize the property of – people and entities it claims violate human rights. Markey now wants those powers levied against those responsible for building coal power plants or logging in rainforests, for example. Such measures “could help ensure that efforts to address climate change do not worsen global inequality,” says the 19-page draft of the bill.

His ‘Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act of 2019’ would bring the US “closer to a complete… global strategy that matches the magnitude of the climate crisis,” the senator added.

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Markey famously co-sponsored the ‘Green New Deal’ plan, unveiled with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) in February, only to see it crash and burn in the Senate when the Republican majority put it up for a vote. Though Ocasio-Cortez has been widely mocked over the proposal to outlaw airplanes and “farting cows,” the platform has been embraced by several candidates running for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination, notably AOC’s own mentor Bernie Sanders.

One of the many criticisms directed against the proposal by Republicans is that it would cost up to $93 trillion to implement. Though Democrats have disputed that estimate, they’ve conceded the proposal was too vague to put an accurate price tag on. Markey has argued that doing nothing will result in a 10-percent loss to the US GDP by 2090, though those projections have also been challenged.

Markey’s sanctions bill faces equally daunting odds of making it through the Senate as the original Green New Deal. There might be something else to it, however. Multiple US media outlets – such as HuffPost and The Hill – have suggested that the 73-year-old senator could be using it to attract support from climate activists in his upcoming primary battle against Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Massachusetts), the 39-year-old scion of that commonwealth’s most famous political dynasty.

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