Inslee: Biden needs to 'step up his game' on climate change

Inslee: Biden needs to 'step up his game' on climate change
© Greg Nash

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate CNN catches heat for asking candidates about Ellen, Bush friendship at debate MORE criticized fellow 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump accuses Biden of 'quid pro quo' hours after Mulvaney remarks Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense MORE’s approach to climate policy early Thursday, saying the former vice president needs to “step up his game.”

“I will reserve judgment until we see what Joe Biden actually proposes, and I will wait and see if he can match the commitments that I have made to the American people,” Inslee, who has made climate action the central theme of his presidential campaign, said at a campaign event in Washington D.C. to introduce his climate plan.

“If he does that, I think it will be a great day for the Democratic Party," he added. "But to do so, he’s going to have to up his game.”

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Inslee’s climate plan, which calls for a $9 trillion investment to promote a green economy, aims to create 8 million jobs over the next decade. It includes $3 trillion in public investment as well as investments in housing and municipal infrastructure.

“Just as it did in the 20th century, America must rise to this 21st century challenge with a bold plan to: create jobs; protect workers’ rights; repower the economy; rebuild our infrastructure; and reinvest in innovation,” Inslee said Thursday.

The governor has previously called out other Democratic presidential candidates for what he perceives as insufficient commitment to the threat of climate change.

In April, he said former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who released his own climate plan, “did not lead” on the issue during his time in Congress.

Biden, the front-runner in the Democratic field, took criticism from the left flank of the party after saying he supported a “middle ground” on climate issues. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Booker endorses Lipinski challenger Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings MORE (D-N.Y.), a chief advocate for the Green New Deal, called the idea a “deal-breaker.”