Voters concerned about climate change have a wide variety of policy proposals from candidates for President in 2020. There are more in-depth proposals than have existed in any previous presidential election. All Democratic candidates would rejoin the Paris Agreement, plan to remove fossil fuel subsidies and are targeting carbon neutrality (often called “net zero”) in the near future. The specifics of how to get there is the primary difference.
The candidates differ in the amount of public funds they plan to invest in green infrastructure, renewable energy, upgrading the electrical grid, community resiliency, etc. The cost estimates range from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ $16.3 trillion over 10 years, to Sen. Warren’s $10 trillion, to most other candidates’ proposals at $2-3 trillion.
Most Democratic candidates express support for the Green New Deal, though their detailed plans offer very different paths for reaching its goals.
- Sen. Sanders proposes a carbon tax to fund his initiatives, while Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Klobuchar and Andrew Yang support a carbon fee and dividend, which rebates fees collected back to citizens so low- and middle-income families aren’t impacted by rising fuel prices.
- The two former mayors, Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg, as well as Tom Steyer, put a strong emphasis on community-level sustainability projects, while Sen. Klobuchar emphasizes the need to reform agriculture policies and develop rural sustainability projects.
- Former VP Biden and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard advocate redirecting fossil fuel subsidies directly to renewable energy investments.
The candidates’ detailed plans offer many interesting ideas to address climate change that are well worth reviewing. To date, there are no climate change policy proposals from the Republican candidates.
The links below will take you to the candidates’ climate change proposals, in alphabetical order. Many of the detailed plans are downloadable documents from the campaign websites.
Article by: Jeff Clark, UUSA Green Sanctuary Committee