How Green are the Democratic Candidates?

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The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that we only have 12 years left to prevent the worst impacts of Climate Change. Devastating natural disasters and record temperatures along with worldwide protests and strikes have made climate a major issue in the current Democratic Primary Race. We’ve provided here a quick summary of each candidate’s environmental plans and records. 

If you’re looking for more information on each candidate’s environmental standing we suggest this article from the L.A. Times and the Inside Climate News profiles on each candidate.

We show here which candidates support The Green New Deal. The Green New Deal would enact enormous and rapid change throughout the United States government and economy with the goal of putting a stop to Climate Change while ensuring the protection of fossil fuel workers and justice for under-privileged communities. You can read more about it here

The Sunrise Movement collected information on the climate policies Biden, Warren, and Sanders and created climate scorecards on specific categories surrounding the Green New Deal.

We used this article from NPR and the Inside Climate News “Where the Candidates Stand” profiles to determine each candidate’s stance on the Green New Deal.

 

We will share the scores from the League of Conservation Voters for each candidate who has been in Congress. The League of Conservation Voters gives members of Congress scores out of 100 based on their voting record and how often they have voted in a way that promotes environmental wellness. 

 

We will share the grades that GreenPeace has given each candidate. GreenPeace is an international climate organization dedicated to exposing environmental problems and supporting solutions. They interviewed each candidate about their climate plan and gave them grades from A to F. 

 

We’ve included whether or not each candidate supports some form of carbon pricing, which is a system in which carbon emissions are taxed or must be bought. Carbon pricing is widely believed to be an effective means of reducing emissions. There are several kinds of carbon pricing, including a straight carbon tax, carbon fee and dividend in which the money raised is sent directly back to the people, and cap and trade, in which governments release a set amount of permits to produce a set amount of carbon emissions which can be traded between entities.

We used this article from the Washington Post to determine each candidate’s Carbon Pricing stance.

 

Finally, we’ve included each candidate’s stance on fracking. Fracking is a method of extracting fossil fuels from difficult-to-reach underground deposits and is controversial because of the massive amounts of water it requires, concerns about the pollution it produces, and the concern that the process causes earthquakes. Learn more about it here.

We used this article from the Washington Post to determine each candidate’s Fracking stance.

 

All the candidates have committed to leading America into an era of clean energy and dramatic reductions in emissions.

 

Joe Biden

Supports the Green New Deal: Yes

Sunrise Scorecard: 71 out of 200 

League of Conservation Voters: 83% 

GreenPeace: B+

Carbon Pricing: Pro

Fracking: Limit it/Regulate it

Read his full Climate Action plan here

 

Mike Bloomberg

Supports Green New Deal: Not really. Bloomberg agrees with many aspects of the deal but expressed concerns that it can’t get done in our current political climate.

League of Conservation Voters: No rating since he was never in Congress, but he did receive a lifetime achievement award from them.

GreenPeace: C+

Carbon Pricing: Pro

Fracking: Limit it/Regulate it

Read his full Climate Action plan here

 

Pete Buttigieg

Supports the Green New Deal: Yes

Sunrise Scorecard: NA

League of Conservation Voters: NA

GreenPeace: B+

Carbon Pricing: Pro

Fracking: Limit it/Regulate it

Read his full Climate Action plan here

 

Tulsi Gabbard: 

Supports the Green New Deal: No

Sunrise Scorecard: NA

League of Conservation Voters: 96%

GreenPeace: B

Carbon Pricing: Against

Fracking: Ban it

Read her full Climate Action plan here

 

Amy Klobuchar: 

Supports the Green New Deal: Sorta. Klobuchar was a co-sponsor of the deal but views it more as an aspiration than an achievable goal.

Sunrise Scorecard: NA

League of Conservation Voters: 96%

GreenPeace: C+

Carbon Pricing: Pro

Fracking: Limit it/ Regulate it

Read her full Climate Action plan here

 

Bernie Sanders:

Supports the Green New Deal: Yes

Sunrise Scorecard: 183

League of Conservation Voters: 92% (the website notes that he missed many votes during his presidential campaign, which impacted his score)

GreenPeace: A+

Carbon Pricing: Against

Fracking: Ban it

Read his full Climate Action plan here

 

Tom Steyer: 

Supports the Green New Deal: Yes

Sunrise Scorecard: NA

League of Conservation Voters: NA

GreenPeace: A

Carbon Pricing: Pro

Fracking: Ban it

Read his full Climate Action plan here

 

Elizabeth Warren:

Supports the Green New Deal: Yes

Sunrise Scorecard: 171

League of Conservation Voters: 99%

GreenPeace: A

Carbon Pricing: Open to it

Fracking: Ban it

Read her full Climate Action plan here

 

By Ella McGrail Class of 2021

and Rose Reiner Class of 2023

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