Biden campaign’s climate change initiatives: Combating the climate crisis and pursuing environmental justice

Source: BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2020

Members of the “unity” task force formed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035, strengthening U.S. efforts on a host of international climate change initiatives and putting environmental justice at the crux of a potential Biden administration’s policies.

The Biden campaign on Wednesday released the task force’s recommendations, which include a raft of other progressive policies. Co-chaired by former Secretary of State John Kerry and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the task force recommends eliminating carbon emissions from the power sector in the next 15 years with “technology-neutral standards for clean energy and energy efficiency,” as well as the installation of 500 million solar panels and 60,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines. It calls for all new buildings by 2030 to have net-zero emissions and immediately strengthen car and truck emissions standards.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorses former Vice President Joe Biden during a live streaming broadcast on April 13, 2020.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorses former Vice President Joe Biden during a live streaming broadcast on April 13, 2020. | Photo by via Getty Images

The emphasis on climate change — it appears on the first page of the 110-page document — further suggests Biden would push aggressively to tackle the problem as one of his top priorities in office. Varshini Prakash, who served on the task force and is co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, hailed the platform as a sign that Democratic leaders were listening to young people around the country clamoring for immediate action to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that the task force “accomplished a great deal.” Among the notable gains, she said, “we shaved *15 years* off Biden’s previous target for 100% clean energy.” The recommendations will be weighed by the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, as well as Biden.