Rhiana Gunn-Wright
Policy Director, New Consensus

Since its debut last year, the Green New Deal has created quite a stir in Washington. Some have praised it as the most ambitious national project since Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, while others have dismissed it as a green dream. Earlier this week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) partnered to introduce a preview of this bold new effort to address both economic inequality and climate change.

In this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by one of the architects of the Green New Deal, Rhiana Gunn-Wright. Rhiana is the Policy Director for New Consensus, the progressive policy shop advancing the deal. She breaks down the thinking behind this sweeping plan, which calls for 100% clean energy as well as affordable housing and high-quality healthcare. They discuss the speed, scale and scope of the Green New Deal, and the collective spirit driving the new policy.

 

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CGEP Podcast e297 GunnWright

[00:00:02]

Jason Bordoff: Since the debut last year, the Green New Deal has create quite a stir in Washington. Some have praised it as the most ambitious national project since FDR’s new deal. Other dismiss it as just a green dream. Yesterday, Senator Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a preview of resolution of this bold new effort to address both economic inequality issues and the climate change. Hello and welcome to Columbia Energy Exchange, a weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. I’m Jason Bordoff. And today, I’m sitting down with one of the architects of the green new deal Rhiana Gunn-Wright. Rhiana is the policy director for New Consensus, a progressive policy shop advancing the deal. She’ll break down the thinking behind this sweeping plan which calls for a 100% clean energy as well as affordable housing, high quality healthcare and a range of other social equity goals. We discuss the speed, the scale, the scope of the project as well as its feasibility and its durability. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Rhiana Gunn-Wright, thanks for joining us here at the Center on Global Energy Policy on Columbia Energy Exchange.

[00:01:13]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Oh, thank you for having me.

[00:01:15]

Jason Bordoff: So, there is a ton of interest in the Green New Deal. We’re meeting at a pretty fortuitous time. We’re having this conversation, I think a few hours before its officially released in a few hours after it was unofficially posted online. But we’ll talk about we’ll talk about in a minute. I think first there is a lot of interest understanding where this came from. The green new deal as a concept. I mean, it’s been, the phrase has been out there for a while. But the sudden urgency and the suddenness with which its come to the forefront of the political debate is pretty striking. So, I think it will be interesting for people to hear where it came from and talk a little bit about the organization behind it, new consensus, sunrise, the others and maybe start by telling us a little bit about your own background and how you came to that.

[00:02:05]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah. So, for my own background, I actually am relatively new to climate and energy policy. My background is in social policy and my work has broadly been about anti-poverty and also the ways that poverty interacts and shapes policy formation in criminal justice and other places. But the way that I sort of started on this was, I was the policy director for Abdul El Sayed ____ [00:02:32] campaign in 2018 and a big focus of…

[00:02:39]

Jason Bordoff: You grew up where?

[00:02:40]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: I grew up in Chicago. So, I grew up also like pretty far from nature. I mean, it’s lovely. I’m glad I’m no more of it now. But yeah, so, Michigan actually environmental issues are huge issue in Michigan from clean water and…

[00:02:59]

Jason Bordoff: And Michigan was by way of New Haven, Yale for studies and then Oxford for…

[00:02:59]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yes. So, I can give you the, yeah, I can give you a whole shebang. So, grew up in Chicago, grew up on the south side. Went to Yale for college. Worked on actually a lot of my work is about welfare policy. There left, moved to DC where I worked as a policy researcher, research fellow at the institute for women’s policy research and then briefly on first lady Michelle Obama’s policy team. And then I went it Oxford. I won a Rhodes scholarship. Did a masters in comparative social policy. My thesis was about sort of policy formation in municipal department. So, I did field work in Chicago and Philly. And then sort of hopped around some more. I was a design researcher, ended up in Detroit because I was working as a policy analyst for the Detroit Health Department which is honestly when a lot of environmental issues sort of came into my consciousness because there is a lot of EJ issues particularly in Detroit.

[00:04:13]

Jason Bordoff: Environmental justice.

[00:04:14]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Environmental Justice issues in Detroit. There is, Detroit has the most polluted zip code in the whole state. There is an incinerator in the middle of the city that burns trash. 80 to 90% of which is from neighboring suburbs. Like there is an oil refinery right in town. And so, a lot of work had to do with firsthand how the sort of environmental factors were impacting public health. And the role that the city government had in sort of mitigating those effects. And then it went on Abdul El Sayed who is the commissioner of the Detroit health department, ran for governor and sort of a progressive, not sort of as progressive too.

[00:04:57]

Jason Bordoff: Unapologetically progressive.

[00:04:57]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright:  Unapologetically progressive. And I as policy director managed the whole policy portfolio and actually climate and environmental policy might have been the sort of area that we spilled the most ink on.

[00:05:11]

Jason Bordoff: And then, so tell us about the new consensus. What that is and what role it plays in the green new deal?

[00:05:16]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, so, I am now the policy director in new consensus. And new consensus is a progressive policy shop that was formed in part to provide the policy muscle for new progressive candidates and representatives who have run on these really big ideas like a green new deal that need fleshing out, that need a lot of thinking and effort put into figuring out the policy details. But because of the nature of legislative offices, they might not have time to do it inside. Or we might even if they have time to do it inside, we want to be able to offer sort of people’s plans for different things. Things that expert, outside folks have waited on, that we’ve pulled in movement and everyday folks to weigh in on and then presenting that as sort of a collective package and also starting to think about and talk about how our economy works outside of the neo-liberal and what does that look like and how does that connect to different issues? So, that’s what new consensus does and as far as the green new deal, we’re sort of like the policy clearinghouse for the green new deal. So, ideas come to us, people come to us and we organize them to support the creation of a green new deal plan.

[00:06:36]

Jason Bordoff: So tell people what the green new deal is and is there a single green new deal or is that a set of goals that can be manifested in a lots of different ways. People can support different versions of the green new deal?

[00:06:47]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah. So, a green new deal is essentially a mobilization, along the scale of World War II, to tackle. You can define it as twin or triple crisis of climate change, worsening income and inequality and systemic injustice. And usually, yeah, so trying to tackle those three things and especially the nexus of sort of those three. And as far as there being a version of the green new deal or the green new deal, I think we are really early in the process, a new consensus, we’ll be putting together a plan right through process of consultation with expertise define broadly activist movement, policy experts etc. that we’ll be doing but I guess our stance is that other plans are useful. This is a space for debate and interest and as long as its in keeping with the speed, scale and scope, that’s outlined in the resolution and includes the key projects that are also outlined in the resolution, we think people should have a go at it.

[00:06:47]

Jason Bordoff: Something like five goals and 12 projects and…

[00:08:06]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Five goals and 14 projects, I think. And there is sub-part to those projects and then there is also elements of, I should say beyond the projects, also an approach which is all about centering justice and equity and making sure that we are again considering certain people collateral damage to pay for progress.

[00:08:25]

Jason Bordoff: I’ll come back to that but let me just ask you about the scope, I mean. The Center on Global Energy Policy, we spend a 100% of our time thinking about energy and environmental challenges. We spend none of our time thinking, that’s an overstatement but it’s, they’re viewed as separate issues often when you talk about the other huge problems. You talked about economic inequality and systemic just transition issues and other things. It’s often seen as that’s an economic policy issue. Maybe other groups are working on. There is a lot of overlap and they entwine to one another. But when you talk about as this resolution does, the scale and urgency of the climate change challenge, talk about the theory of change which has, that’s a hard enough problem to solve. And then you read this document and this document says, not only do we have to transition towards a 100% clean energy and on and on. But by the way, we need affordable, safe and adequate housing. We need high quality healthcare for everyone. Any one of those bullets is a massive undertaking on its own.

[00:09:27]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: A 100%.

[00:09:28]

Jason Bordoff: So, what’s the idea behind kind of bringing them all together? Does that just make it even more difficult to get all of these and…

[00:09:34]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Well, I think that there is actually a few prongs to it. I think the first is that climate change is an urgent crisis that we know that we need quite significant, massive, right movement to deal with.

[00:09:49]

Jason Bordoff: And we are not moving fast enough.

[00:09:51]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: And we are not moving fast enough at all. And so, but we think and I think history has often borne out that even if a crisis is real in technical terms until people see it as real and urgent, they are not gonna put pressure on it and movement and that it will continue to slide to the bottom of the agenda because no one is pushing for it, agitating for it, calling constantly, et cetera. And I think the other reason and so I think broadening the scope of the problem, right so that, it’s tied into urgent crisis or we’re talking about how the crisis overlap and intersect and how climate can be a vehicle right, an investment to deal with climate can be a vehicle to address those. I think is key and I think…

[00:10:39]

Jason Bordoff: Do you think, it narrows the potential base of support? Is there a group of people that say climate change is an urgent problem but not I’m sure many have signed up for Medicare for all, I think. The private sector has a role to play in health insurance. Does it exclude those people?

[00:10:51]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: I mean, possibly but I think it also broadens it to a lot of people who never cared about climate before. Right, so I think there is some shrinking and there is some broadening and there is a question of who do you want to… I don’t think we want to, and we definitely do not want to exclude anyone. But at the end of the day, we also want to solve the problem and the problem to us is not just climate change. It’s also how climate change exacerbates all of these other things. Like I mentioned in Detroit, obviously like the incinerator for instance in the city, that is a multi-pronged issue. Right, it’s a public health issue. It’s also a climate issue, just releasing a bunch of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, right. But and that incinerator and the funding for that incinerator like can keep the city from investing in more renewable sources or getting rid of that. And so, I think a lot of people experience them as layered and I think the other side of it is to deal with the climate crisis. There is gonna have to be a lot of supplies and investment. There is gonna have to be sort of investment and, you can even just take solar industry, wind industry, battery storage and all various technologies we need and then more work to upgrade buildings, right and to decommission old infrastructure. And so instead of, we think that of course the market has a place but we also think that equity is a non-negotiable and so in areas like that, why if we are gonna be making the investment, why don’t we also just try to plan so that those investment are just as equitable and can be done in ways that empower communities that have traditionally been disempowered. So if you need a wind factory or, you say a wind turbine production facility that makes parts. Why can’t you side it in a deindustrialized area, right. That’s near where you’re gonna assemble those wind turbines, right. So, that you don’t have so many issues with transporting and permitting and that sort of thing. Why don’t we just proactively think about that instead of leaving it entirely to the market and then forcing communities to lobby for private, you know, entities to make those decisions. When in fact, for them, it could or could not be an issue, right. There is lots of private companies who have in fact been moving faster than the federal government has required them to move, right. And they deserve acknowledgment for at the end of the day many private companies, they have profit margins to keep and so, if a thing doesn’t make economic sense, why would they do it? But…

[00:13:24]

Jason Bordoff: Can I ask… That raises for me when I listen to you the question of the role for government in achieving what’s the unapologetically progressive agenda that’s laid out in the resolution. So, you talk about, you know, why not side it here rather than here and empower community. Is that, oh, we think, there is a lot in here about, you know, building efficiency and retrofitting existing buildings. Is the idea that the role for government is a set of incentives or regulations because in our current system, it’s individual private economic choices that figure that out. Where should I put a plant? How efficient should I make my building? You know, people everyday are making those decisions and that gives us the system, we have. Or is it actually government through massive mobilization, trillions of dollars of spending, you kind of cited post World War II that is gonna make these decisions, build these plants, step into buildings and start retrofitting them with government workers like the work progress administration? What’s the role for government?

[00:14:28]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: I mean, I think it’s nuance. I think obviously, we think that government has to take a leading role right because regulation shape markets. Government just shapes a lot of the things but that being said, the way the government takes a leading role, I think, it can differ like in World War II, a lot of plants have people think of where government owned contractor operated. Right, or the government just invested, gave money to a private corporation to build a plant or build the plant and then sold it to them afterwards, right. And so the government wasn’t running these things the way that we often talk about it. Private entities were, right. And that was an arrangement that they came to for various economic reasons, various reasons around expertise and efficiency. But I think, that model not to say that we will replicate it because I think that those are all questions that need sort of much more consultation and much more collective attention before we answer. But I do think that it offers a very useful model for how the private sector and the public sector can interact in terms of these mobilization. So, I think that when we say that we take market seriously, a new consensus or we say that the private sector has a role, we really mean that. But and the details of that, I think are to be worked out. But I think the new thing is that saying that government can in fact and in some instances should in fact be at that table in helping to make those decisions instead of entirely private actors.

[00:15:59]

Jason Bordoff: And how much of this is measured… I’ve had a perception, you can tell me, if you agree or disagree but in a lot of the conversation about a green new deal, there is often people equate the level of ambition with level of federal government spending.

[00:16:12]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah.

[00:16:14]

Jason Bordoff: And that maybe one metric by which one could measure investment and progress, if those dollars are well spent and government dollars are not always well spent.

[00:16:21]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, for sure.

[00:16:22]

Jason Bordoff: We’ve also made a lot of progress on other environmental challenges not through federal government spending but by mandates and regulations that say, you can’t pollute in the river, figure something out. And you have a cap on sulfur dioxide emissions. Figure out a technology that will deal with that. Is this about, is this primarily about massive government spending or is it… Okay.

[00:16:21]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: No. Our metric for ambition is not government spending. It’s addressing the problem. Right, so our metric is does it meet the goals that are set forth in terms of greenhouse emissions.

[00:16:39]

Jason Bordoff: Policy tools are that are needed to do that.

[00:16:58]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: To do, to meet those goals.

[00:16:59]

Jason Bordoff: Meet the goals, yeah.

[00:17:00]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: I mean, I think the projects that are laid out are among the big policy tools, I think. People often ask us about price on carbon, various regulations, be they industry standards, the best available technology standard that’s in the clean air, water. Can you use that for industry? What’s the role of cafe standards, right? What is the role of government efficiency standards. We think that those will likely be tools. But like I said new consensus is running a collective process and so, we have done an initial sort of survey of the land and we have ideas about what we see as the big tools but until sort of more people weigh in on it, we are not gonna come out and say these are the things that we need because the goal of the green new deal beyond putting it forward and the goal of new consensus process is really a collective solution because we think that so often policy comes just from the grass tops and you end up solving for problems that people don’t define as the problems that they have.

[00:18:10]

Jason Bordoff: It doesn’t speak to a carbon tax. That’s obviously something that comes a lot. It does say the federal government should take into account the social cost of pollution for existing laws and many people would say carbon tax is the one that will do that.

[00:18:22]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, exactly. So, it is phrased like that, I think because a carbon tax is one way to do that. There is other ways to do that. I mean, people even sometimes talk about alternatives to GDP, right. Alternative measures of GDP and so, for us right now, everything is on the table and as we build out the collective, as we start having these conversations and as we start digging in more and having folks on the solutions that we are coming up, then I think you will see more. I did want to say that other thing, I think about why that green new deal is so comprehensive in terms of Medicare for all and these sorts of things. Those are also about making sure that every person can who wants to participate in the transition, particularly through paid employment can. Right, because a lot of people are wedded to jobs because of employer sponsored insurance, right. People can’t participate, can’t take full-time jobs because of lack of child care. Right or the need for elder care. Right and so, we recognize that there has to be a supportive system, right in order for people to take these new jobs that are coming out for to create possibly more flexibility in the labor market. If we are gonna need people to be moving from particular industries and to other industries and so, I think those policies are also meant to address what is necessary for the economy that we envision, what policies are necessary to make sure that people can truly participate. All in equal footing, not on the footing that we have now which we know excludes some people, is gonna make sure that certain jobs go to certain, you know places. Even if those places don’t need it most when in fact, we need people to move and as an economic issue, we know that unemployment rate is low but labor participation is also low. And so, I think the policies are also in place because bringing people into the labor market is not a small undertaking. And so, if we are going to actually have all these new industries, we’re gonna need as many people working as possible and so, what do we need in place to help move them back into the labor market and into the productive capacities where we need them?

[00:20:42]

Jason Bordoff: Can I ask about, in your public panel discussion yesterday with the student and faculty and community, we talked a lot about the speed and scale with the climate problem? We also talked about durability of solutions and achievability of solutions. I think people think that’s important.

[00:21:01]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah.

[00:21:02]

Jason Bordoff: So people might look at this and say this is a, yes these are all wonderful goals and think about how difficult it is to get almost anything done in Washington. And some people think that it’s important to find areas for bipartisan cooperation to allow for legislative action as opposed to executive action because it creates more durability.

[00:21:20]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Of course, yeah.

[00:21:21]

Jason Bordoff: So how do you think, a lot of people read this and say, this sounds great. There is no way, we are getting any of this done.

[00:21:26]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Okay.

[00:21:26]

Jason Bordoff: So how do you think about the theory of change and the path to actually move things forward from a policy standpoint?

[00:21:32]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, for me, I think it comes down to the way that we often talk about political feasibility which I think is often skewed, right. So we define feasibility either entirely as what people empower will do currently like and don’t really think about creating pressures on them but what people empower will do or there is a conversation where we don’t think at all about people empower and say how do we do something entirely from the outside and I think the green new deal has been really thoughtful about trying to balance both of those things because politicians respond to pressure, right. Durability does not only come from bipartisanship which you know, some, I’ve heard some folks say and I think…

[00:21:32]

Jason Bordoff: Because the idea is every four eight years, we undo ____ [00:22:24] regulating now and then someone comes in and reregulates and it just went back and forth.

[00:22:31]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Right. But would Trump have deregulated, if people were out protesting the way they did about ACA reveal. We don’t know. But we know that the ACA didn’t give repeat. I mean, and I think…

[00:22:44]

Jason Bordoff: Your point is it wasn’t bipartisan but it was, it’s now difficult for republicans to oppose it because people support…

[00:22:49]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Because people support it and I think that’s something that sometimes get lost in durability argument which is that, if people like a policy, they understand how it works, they rely on it, it becomes very difficult to pay us. In the social policy world, we joke that the worst thing about entitlement broadly that terms but something like a social security which is considered technically an entitlement because you are entitled to social security as long as you pay into the system. Entitlement, the worst part is getting them pay us. Once they pay us, they are incredibly difficult to roll back. Because people like them. They start to factor them into their lives and so, the idea that you would get rid of it particularly with…

[00:23:31]

Jason Bordoff: Maybe, harder to make that point for environmental protection because the ways in which it comes and goes is less visible to people.

[00:23:36]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yes, but if you’re connecting it to jobs and other things that people understand and realize that oh, this is part of that green new deal thing. I want that to pay us, you know. This is bringing in jobs and all these, you know, is bringing jobs and I have different healthcare and I understand that it’s packaged together. We think that, that could create a bit more durability too. And I think that personally, I think that it’s also just high time that political feasibility takes a backseat to what is gonna solve the problem. Right, and what is gonna create enough public pressure, interest and urgency for folks to believe and not to believe but to really understand and take seriously that climate is an urgent crisis and that the ways that we can solve it can also be leveraged to deal with things that are other urgent crisis like folks working two, three jobs and just to make a way, right. People not having access to adequate health insurance. They’re still not being paid child care in this nation despite the fact that we know that it depresses women’s productivity and wage growth and all sorts of other things. And so, I got a lot a little bit lost but it’s all very important and that’s the point.

[00:24:54]

Jason Bordoff: Some of these other things as you know come up from time to time is this debate and maybe it’s like a made up debate, I don’t know. But back and forth about whether it’s a 100% renewables or a 100% clean. How many technology should be on the table? It was notable to me that the resolution said net zero greenhouse gas emissions. It didn’t say zero greenhouse gas emissions but might apply for a role for negative emission technology and other things. It said, you should interpret this. For me it said clean, renewable and zero emission energy sources and I didn’t know if it was and or or. Do things have to be all of those or it’s gonna be one of those three?

[00:25:29]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah.

[00:25:30]

Jason Bordoff: And do you have a view on that?

[00:25:31]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: I think right now, I think the resolution reflects the fact that at the moment again we are focused on solving the problem. So everything is on the table. Right and new consensus will be going through the process of looking at all those options, winnowing down, figuring out. But I think right now, it’s important not to be prescriptive and just stay focused on the scale of the problem, what is needed to solve it, that the green new deal is the only solution out there that’s actually pitched even on the climate level only to figure out how exactly to get us to net zero emissions. And acknowledges the massive whether it’s investment just the massive work that needs to go into that. But, I think right now, right now, I think honestly figuring out the prescriptives is something that we can wait on.

[00:26:23]

Jason Bordoff: And it also in several places says that all of these things should be done as much as technologically feasible.

[00:26:32]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yes.

[00:26:33]

Jason Bordoff: It doesn’t say economically feasible. And so there isn’t really a discussion about cost in here but how do you think about, in the discussion yesterday, the panel discussion we had Alex Flint from the alliance for market solutions and he made the point several times about the importance of economic efficiency, not for its own sake but because in his view and tell me if you agree like in order to get this done, be achievable and maintain political support, we need to do it at the lowest cost possible. And so it is important to think about the policy tools that are as low cost and economically efficient as possible. So how do you think about that?

[00:27:05]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: I think the first metric of that is justice. I think economic efficiency is really important but if it’s not gonna advance equity goals, then it’s really not where we want it to be. I’ll say that. I mean, I think that we’re not gonna go around inflating costs for no reason, right if there is a way that’s gonna hit the goals and also be cheaper, more, you know, contain cost more, then obviously, we are gonna be interested in that and putting that forward. But again, cost is not the main metric. We are thinking very hard about how you will pay for, what are various ways for it but we also recognize that this is a crisis is coming, it’s here and it’s gonna keep getting worse. So, even if it’s not climate change isn’t gonna stop because it goes, oh well, I mean that policy wasn’t up to snuff but it certainly was economically efficient and it have bipartisan support. So, you know, no polar vortex this year, they’ve tried. Right, if it’s not on the magnitude to bring down emissions on the scale that we need to, then it doesn’t really matter if it’s bipartisan and it doesn’t really matter it’s cheap. With that being said, obviously, it says things like technologically feasible because we are considering those factors and we are gonna be thoughtful about them but we are not gonna put economically feasible forward because we don’t want that to be the first consideration for folks.

[00:28:37]

Jason Bordoff: Do you think the kind of zero carbon economy that’s mapped out in here is technologically feasible what we have today or how important do you think government R&D spending is for new innovation technologies?

[00:28:47]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: government R&D spending is crucial. We’re not gonna get to where we need to do, go without that. And I think we all know that. We can get part of the way there. It also depends on sector. We can get much further on power. So not energy like that includes you’re much further down the power.

[00:29:04]

Jason Bordoff: Industrial sector and high temperature processes.

[00:29:06]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: We know that we have so far to go there and then transportation there is still so many questions about aviation, about shipping. We figured out some of long range truck gain but like we know that we need to probably integrate hydrogen fuel cells a bit more than right now we are very focused on battery electric, right and so I think we are… The question of technology is crucial and we are only going to get there with spending.

[00:29:41]

Jason Bordoff: You recall a couple of, I think it was a couple of weeks ago, I forget. There was a letter by that 600 environmental groups.

[00:29:46]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah.

[00:29:47]

Jason Bordoff: Saying what they thought should be in the green new deal and not the major ones like EDF and NOTC and some others. But many. And it started with the restrictions on hydrocarbon supply. Leasing and pipelines and exports and all of that. That wasn’t mentioned in the resolution. It was not, why is that?

[00:30:05]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: We’re still and not everything is gonna be mentioned in the resolution. The resolution is meant to present high level goals and I think in terms of and I think you’re referring to sort of like keep it in the ground.

[00:30:17]

Jason Bordoff: Yeah.

[00:30:17]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Right. We think that it’s clear from net zero to fossil fuels that obviously a transition over fossil fuels none of this will happen unless that happens. But that particular language isn’t in there but I think the sort of spirit of it is. Which is that we need to transition.

[00:30:38]

Jason Bordoff: Yeah, I mean…

[00:30:39]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Fossil fuels and stuff in the line on them.

[00:30:41]

Jason Bordoff: There is a discussion about sort of the most, people disagree on the most effective way to do that and to what extent those restricting supply achieve that goal or come at a cost and to what extent you focus on demand and you know.

[00:30:41]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: So, I think that is partially, it’s also not in there because that’s one of those things that like new consensus will do a lot of research on before we weigh in. So, I think it’s probably just meant to be, still be sort of exactly how we do that is meant to be worked out.

[00:31:09]

Jason Bordoff: Unfortunately, we are out of time but that was fascinating conversation. Thanks for coming to talk with us about the work you’re doing.

[00:31:16]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Oh, thanks.

[00:31:17]

Jason Bordoff: And the important work you’re doing to try to move us more quickly toward solutions that are at the scale and speed and urgency of the climate challenge. I’m sure, there would be a lot of different views about exactly the scope of what’s in here but I think the level of attention that the green new deal concept has brought to the problem of climate change has sort of welcomed everyone who work on this issue, so…

[00:31:38]

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, well thank you. We are so looking for to working in partnership with folks because the goal is to address climate change and to sort of build a more just prosperous economy.

[00:31:50]

Jason Bordoff: Rhiana Gunn-Wright, thanks for joining us today on Columbia Energy Exchange. Thanks to all of you for listening. For more information about Columbia Energy Exchange and the center on Global Energy Policy, visit us online at Energypolicy.columbia.edu or follow us on social media at Columbiauenergy. I’m Jason Bordoff. We’ll see you next week.