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Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035

Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035
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A unity task force made up of supporters of both Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE has come up with a series of broad environmental recommendations for Biden as he prepares to become the official Democratic presidential nominee. 

The task force’s broad plan includes a goal of eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035, achieving net-zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030, and making energy-saving upgrades to as many as 4 million buildings and 2 million households within five years. 

Some of the recommendations released Wednesday set more specific targets than the former vice president’s current climate plan, which calls for a shift away from coal-fired electricity, halving the carbon footprint of buildings by 2035 and starting a national program aimed at affordable energy efficiency retrofits in homes.

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The group is one of several “unity task forces” made up of supporters of Sanders and Biden that is making platform recommendations as Biden courts favor from the progressive faction of the party. 

Sanders, who sought to challenge the former Delaware senator from the left, came in second place in the 2020 Democratic primary, repeating his result from 2016, when he lost the presidential nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College Federal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work Biden soars as leader of the free world MORE

The climate panel is co-chaired by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-N.Y.), a leading proponent of the Green New Deal, and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBiden soars as leader of the free world The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Kerry says Paris climate deal alone 'is not enough' | EPA halts planned Taiwan trip for Wheeler| EPA sued over rule extending life of toxic coal ash ponds MORE.

“The Unity Task Force urges that we treat climate change like the emergency that it is and answer the crisis with an ambitious, unprecedented, economy-wide mobilization to decarbonize the economy and build a resilient, stronger foundation for the American people,” the document says. 

The plan also calls for a significant investment in renewable energy, including installing 500 million solar panels and manufacturing 60,000 wind turbines.

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In the transportation sector, the group recommends the adoption of “strong standards” for clean cars and trucks and the transition of all school buses to American-made, zero-emission alternatives within five years. 

The New York Times first reported on some of the recommendations earlier this week. 

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign did not immediately respond to questions from The Hill about whether the campaign would adopt any or all of the climate recommendations, though the former vice president praised the task forces in general for “their service and helping build a bold, transformative platform for our party and for our country.”

Task force member Rep. A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinDemocrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Progressive group slams Biden White House pick over tie to fossil fuel industry OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law MORE (D-Va.) who has endorsed Biden, expressed support for a strong climate platform in a statement to The Hill. 

“The Trump administration and its acolytes have sought to prevent the bold climate action this moment of crisis demands at every turn, but today’s recommendations released by the Biden/Sanders Unity Taskforce represent a new and necessary sense of urgency on environmental justice and climate change for the United States under a Biden administration,” McEachin said. “It is up to all of us to translate this enthusiasm into action under the diverse coalition we need to mobilize behind Vice President Biden in November.”