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.
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.
.@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he'll build an America that lives up to our ideals.
I'm honored to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 11, 2020
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:
- The Green New Deal (2019)
- Climate Equity Act (2019, introduced with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)
- COAST Anti-Drilling Act (2019)
- Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (2019)
- Living Shorelines Act (2018)
- The Environmental Justice for All Act (2017)
- Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act (2017)
- Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act (2017)
- A resolution opposing Trump’s efforts to withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris Agreement (2017)
Climate change is an imminent threat to our planet unless we correct course. It’s within our power to do so. Now is the time. pic.twitter.com/q1mToVv6GE
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 18, 2019
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 4, 2019
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.
Big oil companies have spent millions of dollars to block action on climate change. Right now, San Francisco & Oakland are suing to hold them accountable for their role in polluting our environment. I've joined a legal brief to support these California cities in their fight.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) March 24, 2019
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.**
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.