June 4, 2019

350 Action Responds to Presidential Candidates Biden and Warren’s Climate Plans

(Washington D.C.) Today, Presidential Candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren released comprehensive climate action plans outlining how each would tackle the crisis and showing their support for the Green New Deal. Biden’s plan pledges to invest $1.7 trillion dollars directly from the federal government over ten years, through a combination of private, state, and local dollars to reach what his campaign says is a $5 trillion plan. The plan broadly pledges to transition to a 100% renewable energy economy and reaching net-zero emissions no later than 2050, a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry, and a phase out fossil fuels. The plan includes ongoing commitments to false solutions such as nuclear, carbon sequestration, and storage. 

The Warren plan lays out a $2 trillion package that commits the federal government to spend $150 billion a year over the next decade on low-carbon technology, increases energy research funding, tenfold, and supports a $100 billion Green Marshall Plan to aid poorer countries that are projected to suffer the worst as global temperatures rise. Her most recent plan follows previously released commitments to slash emissions generated by the U.S. military and her public lands plan, promises to sign executive orders to ban new fossil fuel leases on federal acres and set aside  more areas for renewable energy.

350 Action North America Director Tamara Toles O’Laughlin responded saying:

“Democratic Presidential Candidates are paying overdue attention to our movement’s urgent demand for comprehensive plans that meet the scale of the climate crisis. Just a few weeks ago, we called out Biden’s campaign for signaling a “middle ground” strategy insufficient to tackling the climate crisis, and are pleased to see the campaign begin to reverse their approach. Our communities are demanding leadership that will act with deliberate speed to fight for people and planet. These comprehensive plans are a good start, raising the bar from contenders for the highest office in the land.

“We welcome commitments to refuse donations from fossil fuel executives as a sign of solidarity with people over polluters and urge Joe Biden to immediately sign the #NoNewFossilMoney Pledge to seal his word. We also welcome his commitment to supporting workers in a just transition to jobs in the renewables sector. While his plan is a start, it falls short of outlining a clear course to move the U.S. off of fossil fuels in our lifetimes and onto 100% renewables. It’s concerning that Biden’s plan embraces demonstrably false solutions including nuclear power, harmful biofuels, and boondoggle carbon capture and natural gas infrastructure that will continue to lock us into fossil fuel dependence with investments that harm the communities that already live in in areas where the impacts are being felt. False solutions have no place in a Green New Deal.  

“We welcome Elizabeth Warren’s bold climate plan and the consistency at which she addresses the need for real action to transition off fossil fuels. The international focus of her plan, the acknowledgement of the United States’ disproportionate pollution, and the commitment to aiding underinvested  countries that are already suffering from the climate crisis as a critical part of America’s responsibility to the world. In a time when millions of people are being forcibly displaced because of the impacts of the climate crisis, Warren’s plan holds the United States to account for catastrophic consequences that communities made voiceless and invisible are already facing.

“To avert the worst of the climate crisis, we need courageous leadership, a responsible President and an administration willing to get to work on day one,  who will not make compromises that kill people today or tomorrow by locking us into further use of fossil fuels. We cannot afford to lose precious time to weak or half-baked climate lite platforms. Voters are making clear that climate change is a top priority in this Presidential election, and we will support the boldest vision to transform our economy for a livable future. We look forward to seeing the candidates debate their climate plans, strengthen them, and add their sustainable, shovel ready visions for our collective future.”


Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage, thanu@350action.org