Where the 2020 candidates stand on climate change

Climate change was predicted to be a hot topic for the first
democratic presidential debates. Despite pressure from
, the issue received just seven minutes of airtime on
the first night of the debates and eight minutes on the second
night. Still, it is important to be informed on where each person
stands when it comes to the climate crisis. Below is a breakdown of
the candidates’ current climate platforms (in no particular

Jay Inslee (Governor, WA)

Inslee has established himself as “the climate candidate.”
climate reporter
went so far as to say that other candidates
should simply adopt Inslee’s climate plan as their own platforms,
as it is the only plan that adequately address the gravity of the
crisis. Inslee’s Our Climate
plan includes:

• Eliminating carbon emissions by 2045

• Investing $9 trillion in clean energy, green
jobs and resilient infrastructure

• Phasing out fossil fuel production

Joe Biden (former Vice President)

On June 4, Biden released a $1.7 trillion Clean Energy Revolution plan,
which includes:

• 100 percent net-zero emissions by

• Investing in resilient infrastructure

• Committing to the Paris Agreement

• Spurring economic growth and green jobs

Biden’s platforms are generally more moderate than other
candidates, and he is wooing the labor unions. While some activists
are sour about his appeal to moderate votes, others believe his
ability to garner bipartisan support and labor votes may make him
more effective in pushing through legislation. On June 27, Biden
signed a pledge to refuse campaign money from oil companies.

Elizabeth Warren (Senator, MA)

Warren’s main focus is taking down big banks and big oil
companies, including protecting public lands from oil corporations.
She backed the
Green New Deal
, supports a ban on fracking and wants to
focus on green job development and industries. She has also

presented a plan
to greatly reduce emissions produced by the

Amy Klobuchar (Senator, MN)

Klobuchar backed the Green New Deal and supports further
development of nuclear energy as an alternative to dirty fossil fuels. Her
proposal, released on March 28, includes a major investment in
infrastructure adaptation and clean energy. She will also reinstate
clean power rules and gas mileage standards and will rejoin the
Paris Agreement.

Seth Moulton (Representative, MA)

Moulton backed the Green New Deal, plans to focus on green jobs
and supports further innovation in carbon
with farmers and rural communities.

person holding sticker with American flag design that reads, "I Voted"

Kirsten Gillibrand (Senator, NY)

Gillibrand co-sponsored the Green New Deal and avidly supported
a carbon tax in
the past. She opposes opening new land and water to oil drilling
supported legislation
that would help the U.S. surpass its
previous Paris Agreement commitment.

Tim Ryan (Representative, OH)

Ryan has defended his
moderate stance
on climate change and
commitment to prioritizing jobs development and economic growth. He
is critical of a carbon tax, arguing it would encourage companies
to take jobs overseas.

Pete Buttigieg (Mayor, South Bend IA)

Buttigieg supports the Green New Deal, nuclear energy and a
ban on fracking. He wants to focus on solutions that
center low-income Americans and mentioned putting rural communities
at the forefront of climate adaptation, such as supporting carbon
sequestration innovation among farmers. He is also in favor of a
carbon tax. Buttigieg would recommit to the Paris Climate Agreement
and plans to decarbonize transportation and industries as well as
support energy efficiency in homes.

Marianne Williamson (author)

Williamson wants to close existing nuclear power reactors

and ban fracking. She supports the Green New Deal.

Eric Swalwell (Representative, CA)

Swalwell has expressed support for the Green New Deal and a
fracking ban, and he would rejoin the Paris Agreement if

Tulsi Gabbard (Representative, HI)

Gabbard has been outspoken about climate action during her time
in Congress. She supports
aspects of the Green New Deal, including reaching carbon
neutrality, but does not support nuclear power unless there is a
solution for nuclear waste. She also supports a ban on

Bill de Blasio (Mayor, New York City)

Mayor de Blasio recently passed New York City’s own version of
a Green New Deal, so he is expected to be an advocate for
progressive climate

Kamala Harris (Senator, CA)

Harris has not taken a firm stance on a fracking ban, nuclear
energy nor a carbon tax. She has come out in support of the Green
New Deal and promised to rejoin the Paris Agreement.

Joe Sestak (former Representative, PA)

climate plan
includes rejoining the Paris Agreement, ceasing
subsidies for fossil fuel corporations, implementing a carbon tax
and investing in regenerative agriculture.

Bernie Sanders (Senator, VT)

climate platform
on his campaign website promises to:

• Pass the Green New Deal

• Invest in infrastructure for front-line communities

• Reduce transportation-related pollution

• Ban fracking and drilling

• End exports of coal, gas and oil

voting booths beside American flag

Corey Booker (Senator, NJ)

Booker officially backed the Green New Deal, supports nuclear
energy and wants to ban fracking. He also has an outspoken
commitment to
climate justice
and to addressing the disproportionate impact
that the climate crisis has on people of color and low-income

Beto O’Rourke (former Representative, TX)

O’Rourke has a $5 trillion
climate plan
that aims for net-zero emissions by 2050, but he
still supports natural gas. His plan also includes $1.2 trillion in
grants for energy
and economic transformation at the community level.

John Hickenlooper (former governor, CO)

Hickenlooper previously worked as a geologist for a major
oil company. He has not
signed on to the Green New Deal and believes the U.S. should
continue fracking. His climate plan

• Rejoining the Paris Agreement

• Making $100 billion available annually in climate

• Establishing a climate corps national service program

Michael Bennet (Senator, CO)

Bennet believes the U.S. should continue using natural gas and
has not signed on the Green New Deal. On May 20, he released a

climate plan
with eight points:

• Create 10 million green jobs by 2030

• Launch a 2030 climate challenge to push states to develop
climate plans

• Conserve 30 percent of land and oceans by 2030

• Establish a climate bank with $1 trillion to spend on
infrastructure by 2030

• Cut energy waste in half by 2040

• Achieve 100 percent clean emissions by 2050

• Decarbonize agriculture

• Develop options for houses to purchase retrofits, renewable
energy and zero-emissions vehicles

Andrew Yang (entrepreneur)

mentions support for fossil fuel regulation and
investment in renewable energy
both for the environment and for the economy.  He also favors a
carbon tax and dividend but believes much of the climate action
needs to happen at the state and local level, with general support
from the federal government.

Steve Bullock (Governor, MT)

Bullock said he would rejoin the Paris Agreement and invest in
renewable energy; however, he does not support the Green New Deal
nor does he think it will get very far. Bullock also has a
long record
of supporting the coal industry in his home
state of Montana. 

Wayne Messam (Mayor, Miramar FL)

When pressed for his
about the climate crisis, Messam told radio station WBUR
that he would develop an infrastructure bill that focused on
resilience for bridges, dams and levees. He would transition the
country to renewable energies and transition fossil fuel jobs
toward the green economy.

John Delaney (former Representative, MD)

Delaney supports nuclear power and does not support the Green
New Deal. He released a $4 trillion dollar
climate plan
that includes:

• Establishing a carbon tax

• Promoting negative emissions technology

• Increasing renewable energy budget

• Developing a climate corps national service program

• Creating a pipeline network that delivers carbon dioxide to
oil fields for sequestration

Julián Castro (former Secretary of Housing and Urban

Castro supports the Green New Deal and was one of only three
candidates to say climate change will be the No. 1 priority of his
presidency. He has mentioned that his first action as president
would be to rejoin the Paris Agreement, and he is opposed to
subsidizing oil corporations.

Greenpeace developed a report card to grade all candidates on
their climate policies. See the visual here.

, Inside Climate
and Greenpeace

Images via Shutterstock

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
Where the 2020 candidates stand on climate change