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Elizabeth Warren releases climate plan with goal of creating 10.6 million jobs

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren.FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday released a climate change plan that aims to create 10.6 million new jobs through nearly $11 trillion in public and private spending, calling the need to transition the United States to a green economy a top priority if she is elected president .

Citing a recent study that shows there’s just over a decade left to avoid irreversible damage to the planet, Warren wrote in her latest campaign proposal that major action is needed to reduce global emissions. The Cambridge Democrat framed the threat as an opportunity, pointing to American successes in World War II and the space race, and arguing for investment in green policies that would spur private sector investment and create jobs.

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“America has a long and proud history of rising to the challenges that have faced this country — and defeating the cliamte crisis is no exception,” Warren wrote in a Medium post Friday, the morning after the latest Democratic presidential debate.

As the early state contests rapidly approach, Warren is continuing to aggressively roll out detailed policy plans as she looks to regain some lost ground in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. Since the beginning of December, she’s released plans to strengthen work protections for part time employees, combat warming oceans, and crack down on financial corruption.

Much of what Warren proposes in her clean jobs plan is drawn from measures that she has previously rolled out, including expanded job training, making all new cars and small trucks electric or otherwise non-emissions producing, tightening building codes, and retrofitting homes to meet energy efficiency standards.

But in her new plan, Warren lays out how she believes these proposals will result in millions of new jobs, based on the assumption that increased federal spending would spur additional private spending. She cited an outside analysis that measured the impacts her green energy and infrastructure plans would have on the job market and that found her plan would create 5.4 million jobs directly from federal spending, and 10.6 million overall.

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In the analysis, Kira McDonald, a fellow at the progressive think tank Data for Progress, said that Warren’s proposals would “strategically combine a focus on rebuilding our country’s infrastructure with big New-Deal style programs to create jobs and spur economic growth.”

The plan would be financed through the sale of bonds Warren called “Green Victory Bonds,” as well as a “Green Bank,” a fund that would make grants and loans as well as spend directly on green initiatives. Warren said the idea for the bank is based on legislation introduced earlier this year by Senator Ed Markey, her Massachusetts counterpart and the Green New Deal’s main advocate in the Senate.

“It will provide security for investors looking for climate-friendly investments in mid- to large- scale infrastructure projects that serve the public interest but might not otherwise attract private capital,” she wrote of the bank.

Warren said the bank alone would result in $1 trillion being spent on climate and infrastructure projects over 30 years.


Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.