One of the biggest dangers facing the planet today is the climate crisis, yet this threat to our planet has become one of the most divisive political issues of our times. Donald Trump was able to win blue collar voters in the Rust Belt by attacking Obama era environmental regulations that hit the coal industry. Since his administration took office in 2016 and pulled out of the Paris Agreement, a fresh interest in climate change activism has inspired the Green New Deal. Championed by progressives like Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie Sanders, the Green New Deal involves re-investing into American infrastructure, creating jobs in the green energy industry, and cutting carbon emissions. This will become a major point of contention between Trump and presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Biden has announced a $1.7 trillion climate plan as part of his campaign platform. Championed by the progressive environmentalist group The Sunrise Movement, who has been pressuring the candidate for weeks, the climate plan's chief goal is to end US carbon emissions by 2050.
“I’m calling for a Clean Energy Revolution to confront this crisis and do what America does best - solve big problems with big ideas,” Biden said in a social media video, saying his proposals would go “well beyond” the policies set when he served with former President Barack Obama.
The plan involves investing the $1.7 trillion into infrastructure over the next ten years, with the primary goal of cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate crisis events including rising sea levels, droughts, floods and more frequent powerful storms.
“The Biden plan will be paid for by reversing the excesses of the Trump tax cuts for corporations, reducing incentives for tax havens, evasion, and outsourcing, ensuring corporations pay their fair share,” according to a statement by his campaign.
Biden has been on the campaign trail selling his plan to during a visit to the renewable energy project in Plymouth, where he said his goal as president would be to make the United States the “single greatest exporter of renewable energy technology in the world” and the “single most significant resource for climate change in the world.” He then went to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Concord to discuss his campaign goals.
“This plan makes it clear: climate change is going to be a defining issue in the 2020 election, and we’ve raised the bar for what it means to be a leader on climate,” said Sunrise Movement President Varshini Prakash. More aggressive plans were put forward by progressive candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, so this is part of Biden's attempt to reach those candidate's base.
Environmentalist Bill McKibben said on Twitter that Biden’s support of that position “makes clear that a Democratic consensus has emerged. Oil, coal, and gas (development) on America’s public lands must stop.”
The plan includes other goals like recommitting to the Paris Accords and social justice causes like protecting Native American communities rights to clean water access.