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2020 Presidential Candidates' Views on Climate

The 2020 election is in less than 100 days, and to many, this election is key to addressing the climate crisis. Between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, which candidate is going to commit to protecting the environment and promoting sustainability?

Donald Trump’s official campaign website does not have any information about his environmental plans for the 2020 election. However, in the last 4 years of his term, the topic of climate has came up many times, and his actions clearly show his beliefs. In 2017, he withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Climate Agreement, created by the UN, is made up of several countries who have committed to slow and eventually stop the rate of global warming. That same year, he removed climate change from the list of national security threats and rolled back the Clean Water Act, allowing greater levels of pollution in streams and lakes. In 2019, the administration changed the way the Endangered Species Act is enforced by placing greater weight on economic and business opportunities than protecting the habitats for endangered species. He has often supported the coal industry and use of fossil fuels. Tweets and statements from Trump are contradictory. In 2009, he signed an advertisement in the New York Times calling for more climate change legislation, but in 2012, he tweeted that climate change was "created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

Joe Biden has released an official plan to address climate change. It can be found at . He plans to “elevate environmental justice in the federal government” and give more power to the EPA. Biden also plans to tackle air and water pollution specifically in low-income communities, rural communities, and tribal land. He also wants to establish a “Office of Climate Change and Health Equity” to address the climate crisis. In clean energy Biden has an ambitious goal- to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. “From coastal towns to rural farms to urban centers, climate change poses an existential threat,” his website reads. “not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities, our national security, and our economic well-being.”

If you turn 18 on or before election day, you are eligible to vote! The 2020 election will be pivotal in addressing climate change in the United States and all over the world, so if you’re eligible, be sure to be informed about the candidates.

By Noemi Gilbert

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