It’s understandable why Biden might avoid the branding. For many moderates and conservatives, including our president, the phrase “green new deal” itself has become a shorthand for leftist overreach. In part, that’s because no one group can really claim complete ownership of the idea and some maximalist versions favored by young activists have included things like Medicare for All and a federal jobs guarantee, along with zeroing out carbon emissions, which make their proposals look a bit like democratic-socialist wish lists disguised as plans to stop global warming.
If you’re serious about climate change—really serious—then your plan cannot demand very much sacrifice from people. Maybe none, in fact.