As the number of days between now and COP21 diminishes, the United States presidential primaries are quickly approaching as well. As covered in our most recent blog, candidates from one party are campaigning with climate change solutions as a significant part of their platforms. The other party, however, is not as interested.
Still, a presidential race is more about the future than it is about the past and many voters are more concerned about each candidate’s plans than their track record. NextGen Climate, a political activism group, is leading the fight against climate change by suggesting that our candidates set the goals of 50% clean energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050 (a recent poll found that 69% of Americans support this proposal). Martin O’Malley is the most on-board with NextGen Climate’s suggestions as he has made the demand for 100% clean energy by 2050 one of the key components of his platform. Bernie Sanders has also worked with this timeline, having co-sponsored the comprehensive “gold standard” climate bill aiming to reduce GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Governor O’Malley and Senator Sanders have each suggested implementing a carbon price, denying permits for arctic and off-shore drilling, and creating clean energy jobs. O’Malley’s plan continues further by suggesting a zero-tolerance policy for methane leaks, a phase-out of fossil fuels, and stronger carbon regulations. Hillary Clinton, like the other candidates, seems to love the year 2050 but has not given an official figure in relation to it, saying she will “achieve deep emission reductions” by then. Her specific goals include more than half a billion solar panels across the country by the end of her first term and generating enough renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of when she would take office. Secretary Clinton still has yet to release her official policy outlining her plans for doing this.
You check out each candidate's official policy below:
Hillary Clinton: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/climate/
Martin O'Malley: https://martinomalley.com/policy/clean-energy-future/ and https://martinomalley.com/climate/agenda/
Bernie Sanders: http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-climate-change/
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