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Where They Stand: 2020 Presidential Candidates On Climate Change


BOSTON (CBS) -- The focus on climate change has been growing globally and establishing the best way to address it has become an important issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. Here is a brief look at where each of the current presidential candidates stand:

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Joseph Biden, Jr. (D)
Former Vice President

  • Has a $1.7 trillion climate change plan
  • Wants to stand up to fossil fuel companies who knowingly harm the environment
  • Favors no new wells on public lands, rather than the outright outlawing of hydrofracking
  • Is a strong advocate for the Green New Deal
  • Wants Congress to pass limits for emission with an "enforcement mechanism ... based on the principles that polluters must bear the full cost of the carbon pollution they are emitting."
  • Ensures net-zero emissions by 2050
  • Will rejoin the Paris agreement

Michael Bloomberg (D)
Former Mayor of New York City

  • Wants to get the government to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 at the latest
  • Wants to cut emissions by 50% across the US economy in 10 years
  • Proposes phasing out all carbon and health-threatening pollution in the electricity sector
  • Electrify all new cars by 2035
  • Electrify the government fleet of vehicles
  • Invest in research & development to move towards a zero-pollution transportation system

Pete Buttigieg (D)
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

  • Plans to invest between $1.5 and 2 trillion of federal funding over 10 years
  • Build an electrical grid that is powered solely by clean energy sources
  • Wants to double clean electricity
  • Calls for zero emissions by 2050 and 3 million new green jobs
  • Plans to reinstate the US in the Paris agreement

Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Congresswoman from Hawaii

Amy Klobuchar (D)
Minnesota Senator

  • In 2007, introduced a bill to start a carbon-tracking program as a step toward a cap-and-trade system to address climate change
  • Calls for major investments in environmental infrastructure
  • Would direct the EPA to restore and expand the Clean Power Plan
  • Will review every fracking permit in first 100 days in office, but doesn't want to ban it entirely
  • Will restore Obama-era policies like the Clean Power Plan and gas mileage standards"
  • Wants zero emissions by no later than 2050
  • Claims on the first day of office she will re-enter the US into Paris agreement

Bernie Sanders (D)
Vermont Senator

  • Has an over $16 trillion plan
  • Sanders' Green New Deal proposes to renewable power generation and electric transportation by 2030, with complete decarbonization by 2050.
  • In Environmental Justice Plan, aims to end exposure to lead and other toxins that are present in crumbling infrastructure, specifically in our water systems and in lead paint
  • Wants a nationwide ban on fracking
  • Will reduce carbon pollution emissions from our transportation system by building out high-speed passenger rail, electric vehicles, and public transit
  • Plans to create 20 million new jobs needed to solve the crisis
  • Invest in infrastructure and programs to protect the frontline communities most vulnerable to extreme climate impacts like wildfires, sea-level rise, drought, floods, and extreme weather like hurricanes
  • Will end imports and exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.
  • Will rejoin the Paris agreement

Tom Steyer (D) 
Investor and activist

  • Wants to spend $2 trillion over the next decade to transition the country to clean energy by upgrading infrastructure and making it more "green"
  • Will declare climate change a national emergency on day one of his presidency
  • Encourage private business to invest in the green economy
  • Will rejoin the Paris agreement

Elizabeth Warren (D)
Senator from Massachusetts

  • Will ban fossil fuel exports and all fracking
  • Would create a "Cash for Clunkers" program to replace fuel-inefficient cars
  • Will create a new, zero-carbon building standard by 2023
  • By 2028, wants to attack 100% zero-carbon pollution for all new commercial and residential buildings
  • Wants to reach 100% zero emissions for all new light-duty cars, medium-duty trucks, and buses by 2030
  • Wants to be generating electricity from 100% clean, renewable and zero-emission sources by 2035
  • Will re-enter Paris agreement

Donald Trump (R)
President of the United States

  • Took the USA out of Paris agreement
  • Relaxed restrictions on power plant emissions
  • Administration looked to relax emission and fossil fuel usage standards for companies
  • Administration is seeking to reduce the cost of energy for citizens
  • Has increased American oil exports and industry growth, is "pursuing policies that fully unleash America's vast energy resources and capabilities while promoting responsible stewardship of the environment."
  • Test facilities for emissions-free nuclear reactor facilities, wants to focus research and development on the next generation of energy production
  • Called climate change a hoax invented by China

Joe Walsh (R) 
Former Congressman from  Illinois, conservative talk show radio host

  • Has not outlined a plan on climate change
  • In the past, has expressed a lack of concern for climate change
  • In 2015, tweeted "lol climate change...or global warming...or whatever they're calling it now."
  • Rejected claims that climate change is a national emergency
  • Has now acknowledged climate change is impacted by human activities but says the Republican Party needs to acknowledge its a problem
  • Said in a recent interview that the future president needs to address and recognize climate change as a problem

Bill Weld (R)
Former Governor of Massachusetts

  • Wants the market to decide, in terms of environmentally green companies
  • Believes a carbon tax is a more feasible and economic way to address the crisis
  • Supports investment in wind, solar and nuclear power
  • Supports rejoining Paris agreement

Lincoln Chafee
Former Governor of Rhode Island

  • Has not outlined a climate change plan yet
  • As R.I. Governor, he signed a climate change bill which coordinated efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities prepare for the impacts of sea-level rise
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