Television networks are giving it an unprecedented amount of airtime. There was almost no talk of rising average temperatures and the consequences thereof among candidates ahead of the presidential election. Now, no Democrat who has eyes on the White House can come to the table without a credible plan to limit greenhouse gases, adapt to rising seas, and to ensure a just transition toward a clean economy.
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Much of the credit for this surge in attention to climate change goes to activists from groups like the Sunrise Movement. With their signature climate policy framework, the Green New Deal , Sunrise set the agenda for the climate discussion among candidates earlier this year. Washington Gov.
Pressure for climate action mounts on Liberals as activists organize
Jay Inslee also deserves much credit for this moment. Several candidates shouted him out in the CNN town hall, and many have sought his blessing. The money, according to Sanders, will come from sources including income taxes from 20 million new jobs, taxes on fossil fuels, defense budget savings from no longer protecting oil shipping, and selling power via federal power marketing authorities.
That money would then be spent on measures like a climate resilience fund, deploying renewable energy, building a high-voltage direct current network, and supporting the United Nations Green Climate Fund. The plan also calls for zeroing out emissions from transportation and power generation by Sanders also takes the most aggressive line against the fossil fuel industry. In addition to raising taxes on the industry and pursuing civil litigation, Sanders wants criminal prosecution of greenhouse gas emitters like Exxon Mobil.
But rather than putting out one central climate change agenda, she has incorporated it into her proposals for public lands , the military , trade , US manufacturing , and climate risk disclosure. By framing climate change as an issue of economics, public resources, and national security instead of just as an environmental issue, Warren is laying out a climate case for the general election, not just the primary. Andrew Yang : The entrepreneur is an unconventional candidate compared to the slate of current and former public officials running for the White House.
The proposal also calls for research into some of the more controversial climate change mitigation approaches like geoengineering. This can include mirrors in space to reflect sunlight away or spraying particles into the air to cool the planet.
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But unlike some of the other candidates, Yang is frank that there will be unavoidable consequences from climate change and that people will have to move as a result. It also calls for new laws to combat environmental discrimination, more civil litigation from the Environmental Protection Agency, and direct the federal government to proactively protect low-income communities and communities of color from pollution.
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Castro has also called for creating a new classification for refugees fleeing climate-related disasters. More than million may be displaced as a result of climate change by according to the World Bank , and Castro wants to create a mechanism to help people before a disaster strikes. She is leaning on this experience prosecuting polluters in her plan to fight climate change. But it also includes expanded access to the legal system for people to hold greenhouse gas emitters accountable.
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Former Rep. The proposal starts by setting a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the US economy by It gets there by using executive powers to do things like re-enter the Paris climate agreement, limit methane leaks from oil and gas drilling, and set new energy efficiency standards.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg : The youngest candidate in the race, the year-old says he has a personal stake in the low-carbon future. I would be in my 60s.
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His suite of strategies to address climate change take pains to address impacts across all parts of the country, not just the coasts. He calls for equitable disaster relief funding, national extreme weather insurance, climate-smart agriculture, and regional hubs to increase resilience to local climate-related risks. But we can control how we prepare for and recover from them. Today, I'm proud to announce my plan for a new approach to disaster preparedness. The proposal also calls for a carbon tax with revenues distributed back to low- and middle-income Americans as a rebate.
Klobuchar was skeptical about some of the elements of the Green New Deal, like reducing air travel, but she ultimately cosponsored the resolution. She also says that she will not ban fracking and is open to carbon capture for fossil fuels as well as nuclear energy. Cory Booker D-NJ : Booker has long framed environmental issues, including climate change , as social justice concerns.
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