Sanders: I'm "frightened about the planet we're going to leave"

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is preparing to roll out a plan to deal with climate change that includes a tax on carbon pollution, which he says is the necessary response to threat posed by global warming.

"You want to talk about being frightened? I am frightened about the planet we're going to leave our kids if we don't act," Sanders said in an interview on CBS" "Face the Nation" Sunday.

His plan, which his campaign says he will release soon, aims to cut carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. By comparison, President Obama has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025 as part of the ongoing Paris climate talks.

In addition to a tax on carbon pollution, Sanders is promising to repeal fossil fuel subsidies and make "massive" investments in energy efficiency and clean, sustainable energy like wind and solar power.

"What the scientists are telling us is if we do not act boldly and aggressively now which is what my legislation does - massive cuts in carbon pollution - if we don't do it now, the planet that we are going to be leaving to our children and grandchildren may very well be uninhabitable and in much worse shape that the planet is today," Sanders said. "We have a moral obligation to move aggressively, to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and that is what my legislation does."

He quotes Pope Francis, who recently said the U.S. is "at the limits of suicide" on the issue of climate change." Sanders is also very critical of his Republican colleagues on the issue.

"It is beyond my comprehension that we can have a Republican Party and Republican candidates who are more concerned about getting huge campaign contributions from the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil and the coal industry than they are about accepting what the overwhelming majority of scientists are saying. And that is climate change is real, caused by human activity and already causing major and devastating problems in our country and around the world," he said.

He previously linked climate change to terrorism on "Face the Nation."

"If we are going to see an increase in drought, in flood, and extreme weather disturbances as a result of climate change, what that means is that people all over the world are going to be fighting over limited natural resources," he said last month. "If there is not enough water, if there is not enough land to grow your crops, then you're going to see migrations of people fighting over land that will sustain them. And that will lead to international conflict."

"When people migrate into cities and they don't have jobs, there's going to be a lot more instability, a lot more unemployment, and people will be subject to the types of propaganda that al Qaeda and ISIS are using right now," he added.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.