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Biden picks up endorsement from progressive climate group 350 Action
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won the endorsement of progressive climate group 350 Action on Thursday as he works to win over skeptical activists.
350 Action, which gained prominence with its fierce opposition to the Keystone XL oil pipeline and efforts to stop fossil fuel extraction, said Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), his running mate, were running on a progressive climate platform and will be able to meet the growing challenges posed by climate change. But the group said it would continue to pressure the Democratic ticket to be "aggressive" in tackling the issue.
"With 40 days until the election, this is our chance to change the trajectory of history. Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris are running on the strongest climate platform of any presidential ticket, ever. We are confident that they will meet the scale of the climate crisis, and respond to the compounding crises of COVID-19, a failed economy, and systemic racism," said 350 Action North America Director Tamara Toles O'Laughlin.
"In the primaries, we pushed the Biden campaign hard for people and the planet. And with time and relentless pressure, we have seen the campaign take up the demands of our movement. We believe that Biden and Harris can continue to be pushed towards an aggressive climate agenda."
Biden and Harris have increasingly centered their climate change policies around economic and racial justice issues in a bid to appeal to progressives who had favored other candidates in the Democratic primary race and have cast doubt on if the two would go as far as activists would like on environmental issue.
The former vice president's climate plan is centered around promoting clean energy and reimplementing climate protections imposed during the Obama administration and rolled back under President Trump. The climate page on his website notes that the coronavirus has "exacerbated historic environmental injustices" and that investments will be aimed at benefiting "low-income rural and urban communities, communities of color, and Native communities."
Biden has also sought to extend an olive branch to the party's left flank by naming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), one of the most high-profile progressives and a top supporter of the Green New Deal, to co-chair his campaign's climate task force.
Still, the endorsement from 350 Action comes as Biden failed to meet four of the goals the group laid out for him earlier this year, including backing a national end to fracking, rejecting advisers with ties to the fossil fuel industry, opposing federal permits and leases for fossil fuel infrastructure and vowing to launch a probe into the fossil fuel industry's role in powering climate change.
But 350 Action maintained it is optimistic that Biden will work to roll back the impacts of climate change and that it will keep a watchful eye on a Biden-Harris administration.
"Together we will continue to demand a swift end to fossil fuel subsidies; hold fossil fuel companies accountable; transition to a 100% clean energy economy, and achieve real gains on net zero emissions by 2035. We will hold the administration to these promises and commit to working with them to make bold climate action a reality," said Toles O'Laughlin.
"By endorsing Biden and Harris, we are setting the stage for leaders who are willing to be challenged by people power to build strong climate action plans. We are invested in leadership that listens and learns from those most impacted by the climate crisis," added 350 Action Executive Director May Boeve.
350 Action's endorsement was first reported by Politico.