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Kamala Harris and the Climate: Everything You Need to Know for November

The Democratic ticket is locked in.

by Vanessa Butterworth

August 11, 2020

Here's everything Kamala Harris has ever done for environmental and climate justice.

Licensed from Alamy through May 20th, 2024 – Credit required

The long-awaited moment is here. The Democratic ticket is locked in for November.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden just picked Senator Kamala Harris of California to be his Vice Presidential running mate to take on Trump.

Here’s what you need to know about her record on climate:

She finished with a “B+” (77/100) on the Greenpeace #Climate2020 presidential scorecard when she was running for the top spot. She had especially strong marks on polluter accountability and her climate prowess was actually slightly ahead of Biden who is currently at a steady “B+” (75.5/100).

She has introduced or co-sponsored the following environmental and climate legislation:

She’s signed the NoKXL Pledge and No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.

She supported a novel idea for a new global “managed decline” treaty to manage the worldwide phaseout of fossil fuel production.

She has supported efforts to hold fossil fuel polluters accountable for their role in the climate crisis by filing a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to hold Big Oil responsible for blocking action in Congress on climate change.

She’s voted in favor of many climate forward policies like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Act.

Both Joe Biden and Kamala will need to increase ambition particularly on fossil fuel supply, environmental justice, and just transition policies, but Harris’s advocacy of a global treaty to achieve a “cooperative managed decline of fossil fuel production” shows that she’s moving in the right direction. She plans to propose a meeting of major global emitters in early 2021, focusing on climate change and the global economy. The meeting will focus on renewed commitments to fossil-fuel subsidy phase-out and the first-ever global negotiation of the cooperative managed decline of fossil fuel production.

**It’s ALSO important to note that Kamala is the only Black woman in the Senate and is also known for her intense grilling of the Trump administration.**

via GIPHY

The next administration must take transformative action from day one to advance a Green New Deal and end the era of fossil fuels.

The baseline for ambitious climate action has shifted dramatically for Biden and Democrats over the past year — it’ll be up to Senator Harris to keep pushing for solutions that tackle social, environmental, and economic injustice at their roots.

This is all in stark contrast to what’s happening with the current administration. Trump’s climate policies are a raging dumpster fire.

Communities across the United States are reeling from the compounding crises of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. But instead of taking action to prevent further suffering, Trump and his cabinet are bending over backward to bail out fossil fuel CEOs.

During her presidential run, Senator Harris showed she understands that climate denial is not a victimless crime. Now, we hope to see her continue this pursuit of climate justice for vulnerable communities as a vice presidential nominee by doubling down on ending fossil fuel production in the United States and making sure that major polluters like Exxon, Shell, BP, and Chevron are held responsible for decades of climate denial and delay.

It’ll be up to us to keep the pressure from now to Election Day (November 3!!) and beyond so that, if elected, Biden and Harris will prioritize climate and environmental justice, put working families and vulnerable communities first, and work to end the era of fossil fuels for good.

For more on where Joe Biden and Trump are at on climate, check out the Greenpeace #Climate2020 presidential scorecard.

Vanessa Butterworth

By Vanessa Butterworth

Vanessa currently works as the Senior Digital Strategist at Greenpeace and sits on the Rising Tide North America organizing team. Outside of paid work, she organizes with frontline groups against police brutality, gentrification, and environmental racism. Over the past ten years, she's worked on campaign, mobilization, direct action, and movement strategy across the US and Canada. She's originally from Mississauga of the New Credit Territory as known as Caledon, Ontario, but now lives in Oakland, California on Ohlone Territory.

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