Energy & Environment

DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden’s current plan

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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Climate Council — which formed to push the party on climate issues — on Thursday released a set of policy recommendations for a greater investment than presumptive nominee Joe Biden’s climate plan

The climate group has endorsed spending between $10 trillion and $16 trillion in federal money over the next 10 years to address climate change whereas the former vice president’s campaign calls for $1.7 trillion in federal spending over the same period. 

The climate council formed last year and describes itself as a “permanent entity of the DNC.” The group is led by Michelle Deatrick, who has been a surrogate for progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). 

Deatrick said in a statement Thursday that the group’s proposed platform “provides a blueprint for ambitious action to fight the climate crisis and advance climate and environmental justice.”

“These policies center environmental justice for frontline and vulnerable communities, urgent climate action, and worker empowerment,” she added. “If adopted, these platform recommendations would be the most ambitious policies addressing the climate crisis ever adopted by the Democratic Party.”

Around the time that the group had formed, some advocates wanted the DNC to host a climate-specific debate for candidates running for its 2020 nomination, although that never materialized. 

Centrist and leftist factions of the party have agreed that climate change is a major issue. More left-wing members have hoped Democrats would take a more aggressive stance

The Biden campaign on Thursday declined to comment on the proposal, but the former vice president said in April that he would “meaningfully engage with more voices from the climate movement [and] collaborate on additional policies in areas ranging from environmental justice to new, concrete goals we can achieve within a decade, to more investments in a clean energy economy.”

In its new proposal, the climate group is calling for almost-zero emissions by 2040, and 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030 in electricity generation, buildings and transportation. 

The Biden plan calls for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, reaching a 100 percent clean energy economy by the same deadline and halving the carbon footprints of buildings by 2035. 

Net-zero emissions does not mean no emissions; instead, it means the total number of emissions is equal to zero when certain activities to reduce emissions are factored in. 

The climate group also wants to ban crude oil exports, deny permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure such as pipelines, and pass legislation that would permanently ban fracking. 

Biden has said he wants no new fracking on public lands, but has not endorsed a complete ban of the practice.

Tags 2020 election Bernie Sanders Climate change Climate change mitigation climate change policies DNC Joe Biden

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