A first glance at where Democratic candidates stand on climate action

See Disclaimer

Climate change is real, and humans bear responsibility. We have choices, but urgent action is essential.

Voting is a necessary—although not sufficient—way to act. In a recent post, I expressed the opinion that climate change is one more (and fundamentally important) reason to not re-elect this president. That opinion stands even more to reason when his (uninformed?) denial of climate change is contrasted with the maturity and sense of purpose of 16 year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg (and the youth movement she inspired.)

But this all begs the question of what Democratic candidates stand for on climate change. All those candidates believe that climate change needs to be acted upon—which is a major improvement over this president’s views. But, exactly how to they plan to act?

To help provide context, I include bellow links to the climate plans of the—arguably—top five Democratic candidates. In alphabetical order:

Joe Biden: https://joebiden.com/Climate/

Pete Buttigieg: https://storage.googleapis.com/pfa-webapp/documents/Climate-Plan-White-Paper.pdf

Kamala Harris: https://kamalaharris.org/climate/

Bernie Sanders: https://berniesanders.com/en/issues/green-new-deal

Elizabeth Warren: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/climate-change

Please read their positions, and assess them objectively. Consider that what we are looking for is not a fairy tale (to borrow Greta’s terminology) plan, but rather a practical, science-informed plan leading to urgent, significant progress. Lofty promises that can not be realistically implemented, might be as much a threat to our future as are overly timid plans.

As I was reviewing the candidates’ plans and other materials, I ran into a candidate-by-candidate analysis conducted by InsideClimate News. They self-describe as “an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan news organization that covers clean energy, carbon energy, nuclear energy and environmental science—plus the territory in between where law, policy and public opinion are shaped.”

Without endorsing the organization or vouching for their objectivity, I will say that I found their analysis informative. Here are links to what they say about each of the same five candidates (noting that in their web site, under Election 2020, they cover a much wider range of candidates):

Joe Biden: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24062019/joe-biden-climate-change-global-warming-election-2020-candidate-profile

Pete Buttigieg: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24062019/pete-buttigieg-climate-change-global-warming-election-2020-candidate-profile

Kamala Harris: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24062019/kamala-harris-climate-change-global-warming-election-2020-candidate-profile

Bernie Sanders: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24062019/bernie-sanders-climate-change-global-warming-election-2020-candidate-profile

Elizabeth Warren: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24062019/elizabeth-warren-climate-change-global-warming-election-2020-candidate-profile

In time, I hope to write my own cross-comparison of the candidates’s positions on climate—because having an informed opinion, and sharing it, matters where climate change plans are concerned.

— Antonio Baptista

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