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Coastal Desk

Advocates Launch Green New Deal Platform For Gulf South

Travis Lux
Colette Pichon Battle, executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, addresses a crowd at the Mahalia Jackson Theater during the New Orleans stop of the national Green New Deal tour in May 2019.

A network of advocacy organizations across the Gulf South has published regional Green New Deal policy platform that aims to build on the national policy of the same name.

The Green New Deal is a resolution in Congress that outlines several ways the country can address climate change. It emphasizes clean energy jobs, environmental justice, and transitioning away from fossil fuels. It’s a non-binding resolution -- so it would not change any laws, if passed.

For the last six months, advocacy organizations from Texas to Florida have been working on a regional version, called Gulf South for a Green New Deal.

Colette Pichon-Battle, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, and one of the authors of the platform, said the group wanted to make sure Southern issues were part of the national conversation, and that legislators in Congress are “including the voices and the unique reality of the South.”

The group, which includes dozens of organizations -- from unions to environmental non-profits to affordable housing advocates, endorses most of the national Green New Deal ideas, but adds several policies it felt were left out. Among those policies: a focus on farmworker rights and sustainable fisheries.

“If you live in the Gulf South and you don’t mention fisheries,” Pichon-Battle said, “you’re missing not only a big part of our community, but our economy.”

Gulf South for a Green New Deal also calls for using abandoned oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as platforms for renewable energy, and endorses reparations for black and indigenous communities.

The group plans to send the document to congressional representatives, think tanks, and presidential candidates.

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