Elizabeth Warren Calls for Blue New Deal: ‘The World’s Oceans Are in Crisis’

Elizabeth-Warren on Climate
Elise Amendola/AP

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Tuesday called for a “Blue New Deal” – news that follows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dubbing his campaign “the climate campaign.”

“We need a #GreenNewDeal to fight the climate crisis—and we need a #BlueNewDeal to protect and restore our oceans so they are a part of our climate solution, and so we can rebuild our blue economy,” Warren wrote in a tweet linking to her comprehensive “Blue New Deal” plan:

“The world’s oceans are in crisis,” Warren writes, citing overfishing, warming waters, and an increase in pollution. While she argues that the Green New Deal is important, a Blue New Deal is also necessary, she argues, as “71% of our planet is covered by the ocean.”

Warren weaves some of her existing plans, such as her Green Manufacturing plan and Green Apollo Program, but calls for more spending to combat the impending “crisis.” She calls for spending $5 billion over ten years “to expand USDA’s Local Agriculture Market Program” as an effort to “rebuild the necessary infrastructure to once again support vibrant coastal communities and a local seafood economy” and vows to fight for a “fully funded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.”

She also promises to direct the USDA to “create a new program dedicated to research and policy development for ocean-based farming, ensuring that ocean farmers, just like any other producers, are paid for their contributions to the fight against climate change.”

Additionally, Warren pledges to end offshore drilling, reduce ocean trash, and “make agribusinesses pay the full costs of the environmental damage they wreak by closing the loopholes that CAFOs use to get away with polluting and by beefing up enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, including by working with state and local officials.”

Warren’s plan also plans to “streamline and fast-track permitting” for offshore renewable energy, which includes “making sure projects are sited with care based on environmental impact assessments.”

Warren concludes:

Starting on day one of my presidency, I will take bold action to fight climate change. And that includes harnessing the power of our oceans to be a key part of our solution to the climate crisis. The task before us is significant, but I am confident that America is up to the challenge – both at home and around the world – to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Our oceans can underpin a sustainable food system, be a source of renewable energy and defend against the worst of climate change. The future of our planet depends on a healthy ocean, and we have no more time to waste.

Warren embraced the idea of a Blue New Deal during CNN’s 7-hour climate change town hall in September, where a fisherman asked:

The trouble is, is the Green New Deal only mentions our oceans one time. This is despite the fact that our seas soak up more than 25 percent of the world’s carbon. So what’s your plan for a Blue New Deal for those of us working on the oceans?

“I like that,” Warren said.

“I think he’s got it exactly right. We need a Blue New Deal, as well,” she added.

Warren’s Blue New Deal follows Sanders’ declaration last week that the his campaign is “the climate campaign.”

“Our Green New Deal is the only proposal put forth by any candidate that is bold enough to take on the crisis we face,” he proclaimed:

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