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Advocates Launch Green New Deal Platform For Gulf South

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Travis Lux
/
WWNO
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.

What do you want to know about climate change? Ask us! The Coastal Desk is working on a new project where we answer your questions about living with climate change. If you listen to WWNO, send your question to climate@wwno.org. If you listen to WRKF, send your question to climate@wrkf.org.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and local listeners.

As Coastal Reporter, Travis Lux covers flood protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure, the energy and seafood industries, and the environment. In this role he's reported on everything from pipeline protests in the Atchafalaya swamp, to how shrimpers cope with low prices. He had a big hand in producing the series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, which examined how prepared New Orleans is for a future with more extreme weather. In 2017, Travis co-produced two episodes of TriPod: New Orleans at 300 examining New Orleans' historic efforts at flood protection. One episode, NOLA vs Nature: The Other Biggest Flood in New Orleans History, was recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors and the New Orleans Press Club. His stories often find a wider audience on national programs, too, like NPR's Morning Edition, WBUR's Here and Now, and WHYY's The Pulse.

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