“We risk a yellow vest movement”: Why the US clean energy transition must be equitable

“The researchers found that shifting to clean energy is feasible and easily pays for itself by eliminating the immediate and long-term harms from burning fossil fuels.

But they also placed a great deal of emphasis on making sure the costs and benefits of the shift to clean energy are spread equitably. This is essential, they conclude, to getting buy-in from a wide coalition for the major changes needed to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Otherwise, there could be strong resistance that would undermine progress.

The fear of consequences of the shift to clean energy has thwarted many proposals to address climate change over the years. For example, the cap and trade legislation that passed the House in 2009 and died in the Senate the next year was framed by opponents as a tax that would hamper the economy.”

“A clean energy transition is not simply a matter of replacing coal power plants with solar and wind energy. It is also about making sure that the communities that depend the most on fossil fuel industries are compensated for losses to their economies and that those who have suffered in the shadows of smokestacks have an opportunity to seize the light.”


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