Rarely can a policy idea have caught fire so quickly. A year ago the ‘Green New Deal’ was a largely forgotten British proposal, first made in 2008, for a ‘green recovery’ to the financial crisis. Today it is the single best known new policy identified with the US Democrats, backed by over a hundred members of Congress and supported in at least one opinion poll by over 80% of registered American voters (including nearly two-thirds of Republicans). Championed by the charismatic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Green New Deal (GND) has attracted support and opposition in almost equal measure.
But what exactly is it? And what is its wider significance?