Our next president needs to be a real climate leader. That means supporting a Green New Deal to create millions of good jobs transitioning to the 100% renewable energy-powered economy we need, opposing climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects, and refusing to take big polluters’ money. See where all the candidates stand—then, take action.
No one is getting an A+ on this climate test just for admitting that the climate crisis is happening. Real climate leadership means real commitment to bold action. We’re grading the candidates on these 3 questions:
The Green New Deal: Have they voted for or publicly supported a Green New Deal, as defined by the resolutions introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey?
The Keep it in the Ground Test: Climate science demands we rapidly transition away from fossil fuels. Have they taken actions to keep fossil fuels in the ground by opposing new coal, oil, and gas projects?
The No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge: Have they signed the pledge to refuse money from oil, coal, and gas corporations?
Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable: Do they support holding the fossil fuel industry criminally or financially liable for their lies and misinformation campaigns against the settled science of climate change?
You can mouse over each candidate’s score for more information on how they received their grade on each issue, or check out our research and tracking document here for more detail. If you have questions, concerns, or new information — or if you’re a candidate who thinks your score on an issue should be changed — feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Biden rolled out a climate platform that takes aspects of the Green New Deal but promotes demonstrably false solutions like carbon capture that will continue to lock us into fossil fuel dependence and investments that harm communities.
Tepidly came out against KXL in 2013: “I asked him about the administration’s commitment to making progress on climate and whether the president would reject the pipeline. He looked at the Sierra Club hat on my head, and he said “yes, I do — I share your views — but I am in the minority,” and he smiled. …”
His climate plan states: “The Biden Administration will take action against fossil fuel companies and other polluters who put profit over people and knowingly harm our environment and poison our communities’ air, land, and water, or conceal information regarding potential environmental and health risks.” However he maintains close ties with fossil fuel executives, including ones that fundraise for him.
Bloomberg has blasted the chances of the current Green New Deal resolution being implemented, stating it “stands no chance” in Congress and also: “I’m a little bit tired of listening to things that are pie in the sky, that we never are going to pass, are never going to afford…I think it’s just disingenuous to promote those things. You’ve got to do something that’s practical.”
Bloomberg has written often about his support for fracking, the Keystone Pipeline, and nuclear power. He has also told the Washington Post he would not support a fossil fuel export ban
Bloomberg has not stated much specifically on holding fossil fuel corporations accountable for the climate crisis.While he has supported and funded campaigns nationally to close coal plants, he has also supported fossil fuel development and fracking in the past.
He endorsed the Green New Deal during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. It matches a sense of urgency about that problem of climate change with a sense of opportunity around what the solutions might represent.”
In response to Vox’s questionnaire, Buttigieg said,“ Corporate social responsibility means little if a company’s business practices are harming people, and we must have robust enforcement and serious accountability for wrongdoing.” He did not list ways he would enforce this, however.
In response to Vox’s questionnaire, Klobuchar said, “[I] support efforts to hold companies accountable for their contributions to climate change and campaigns to mislead the public.” She did not list ways she would achieve this.
Steyer’s Climate Plan Framework indicates that he supports a Green New Deal, and will challenge Congress to pass it. If Congress does not act, he will call a national emergency to force climate action.
His Climate Plan Framework commits to, “Keep publicly-owned oil, coal, and gas in the ground by stopping the expansion of fossil fuel leases and establishing a careful process to wind down federal onshore and offshore fossil fuel production.
Warren’s recently introduced Senate bill would all federal subsidies for fossil fuel leases and development. “require more detailed financial disclosures on risks that publicly traded companies face from climate change that could pave the way for legal action. It would direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to require companies to share how exposed they are to physical risks from climate change, their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and how many fossil fuel assets they control. Fossil fuel companies would also have to report their estimated direct and indirect emissions from extraction, processing and eventually combustion of their product. Several cities and states suing fossil fuel companies have used such bedrock data to support claims of harm.” Warren supports ending all federal subsidies for fossil fuel leases and development.
Yang has tweeted that he is “aligned and on board” for the Green New Deal and parts of his climate platform align with the Green New Deal.
Yang’s platform calls for an end to subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and empowering the EPA to regulate carbon emissions while prioritizing renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure, but has not explicitly embraced a phaseout of fossil fuels. He equivocated when asked in New Hampshire in March 2019.
Add Your Name: Our Next President Must Pass the Climate Test
Add your name if you agree: Our next president needs to be a real climate leader. That means supporting a Green New Deal to create millions of good jobs transitioning to the 100% renewable energy-powered economy we need, opposing climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects, and refusing to take big polluters’ money.
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Want to Dive Deeper?
Polling on the 2020 Climate Test
In March 2019, 350 Action and progressive think tank Data for Progress worked with polling firm YouGov Blue to survey voters about the questions on our climate test. The results: there’s strong support for bold climate solutions. Read our memo for our findings and analysis.