Youth climate group walks back criticism of O'Rourke's climate plan: 'A great start'

Youth climate group walks back criticism of O'Rourke's climate plan: 'A great start'
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A major youth climate group backing the progressive Green New Deal walked back its criticism of former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor Beto O'Rourke, Willie Nelson financially back Texas Democrats in elections bill fight Texans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll MORE's (D-Texas) climate plan, calling it "a great start" to climate-focused legislation.

The Sunrise Movement was initially critical of O'Rourke's $5 trillion climate pitch, saying it did not have an aggressive enough timeline to reach its goals.

"We came out a bit too hot on @BetoORourke’s climate plan, focusing just on his timeline & not enough on everything that’s spot on [about] it," Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash tweeted Wednesday.

"2050 is too late a deadline for the US to reach netzero GHG emissions, but Beto’s plan was a great start & I hope many others follow suit."

Sunrise blasted O'Rourke, a 2020 presidential candidate, on Monday for not having an aggressive enough timeline for reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.


O'Rourke's plan, which calls for $5 trillion in investments, aims to get halfway to net-zero emissions by 2030 and all the way there by 2050.

Sunrise pointed to research from scientists who argue the U.S. must act by 2030 to limit the worst effects of climate change.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sunrise emphasized in a statement that they were still "disappointed to see [O'Rourke] move back to goalposts" after previously promising net-zero emissions by 2030.

Shortly after Sunrise walked back some of their initial criticism, O'Rourke announced that he signed the group's pledge not to take campaign donations from fossil fuel companies.

He also returned all donations he has received since launching his campaign that don't meet the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge's requirements, a move Sunrise said "heartened" them.