U.S. Democratic Convention Stresses Climate Action
Drawing a strong contrast with their Republican opponents—whose presidential nominee has called human-caused climate change a “hoax” and proposed to abandon the Paris Agreement—America’s Democrats came out loudly behind nominee Hillary Clinton this week in calling for an active U.S. response to the global climate crisis.
Couching the matter as a responsibility to today’s children and future generations, “Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders each chose different words,” Mother Jones reports. But each made a similar argument that, in Warrens words, the party’s nominee “will fight to preserve this earth for our children and grandchildren.”
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Clinton’s husband and former president, Bill Clinton, told the convention that his wife “put climate change at the center of our foreign policy” during her four-year stint as U.S. secretary of state. President Barack Obama was expected to return to the same theme during his Wednesday evening address to the convention.
InsideClimate News notes that the difference in rhetoric from party leaders was matched in the parties’ platforms. “Democrats called for a price on carbon, implementation of the Clean Power Plan stayed by the Supreme Court in February, as well as other regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gases, and prioritization of renewable energy over natural gas,” ICN reports. The Republican platform proposes to repeal the Clean Power Plan, dismantle the entire Environmental Protection Agency, and promote new coal, oil, and gas development.
Clinton has been among the party’s more cautious figures on climate, however. While the party platform envisions placing a price on carbon, Hillary Clinton has rejected the simplest way to do so, a carbon tax.
“The overwhelming view of people who have looked at this,” remarked climate specialist Jessica Tuchman Mathews, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, earlier this month, “is that there’s no way to get to the 2050 goal without a carbon price. It would be like attempting to climb a very steep mountain with one leg tied behind your back.”