FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2022
Sunrise: Without the GND, There is No IRA
Washington, DC – In response to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passing the House today, Sunrise Movement Executive Director Varshini Prakash, shared this memo on their impact, and released the following statement:
“The IRA is a forced compromise between corporate oil lobbyists and young people who are fighting for a livable future. It is both a historic investment in climate action that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, and contains massive handouts to fossil fuel millionaires and Joe Manchin, who spent months manipulating our broken system and milking this process for their own benefit, while killing precious time we don’t have to stop the climate crisis.
“In 2017 when our movement launched, climate was so off the map, most people wouldn’t have believed that within years Congress would deliver a climate and jobs plan. But today, it’s clear that young people have organized the impossible into existence. We sat in Speaker Pelosi’s office with AOC in 2018 to make climate action a political priority. We pushed until 23 out of 25 Democratic presidential candidates endorsed the Green New Deal – and until they understood climate and jobs were inextricably tied. We helped inspire record youth turnout after helping Biden write a more ambitious climate plan. And in 2021, we never let lawmakers forget they had an obligation to deliver climate legislation. Ordinary people coming together to organize against all odds created this political moment. Simply put, the movement for a Green New Deal created the conditions to make Biden’s agenda and this climate investment possible. Without the GND, there is no IRA.
“Today, we celebrate the power of organizing. But the science of the climate crisis does not grade on a curve – and it’s clear that the IRA is not enough. One year ago this week, the IPCC released a haunting report saying that if emissions continued at current rates, we had about 5.5 years left before passing the critical threshold of 1.5ºC warming, beyond which impacts to our civilization, planet, and way of life may be irreversible. Now, we have 4.5 years. A 40% emissions reduction by 2030 is not enough. Biden’s goal of reducing emissions by 50% by that date is not enough. Allowing fossil fuel permits and leasing in the IRA is unacceptable, and will hurt the predominantly Black, brown and poor communities on the frontlines of extraction.
“We need more from our government — and we need better leaders who will not let the fossil fuel industry stand in our way. As Americans across the country suffer right now from record flooding, crippling droughts, and deadly heat waves, we need President Biden, Congress, and elected officials at every level of office to treat this crisis like the emergency that it is. The Green New Deal was never going to be one bill, so we will keep fighting and we will not stop until we win.”