BREAKING: Biden Endorses Climate Debate, Fossil Fuel Phaseout at Iowa Campaign Stop


June 11, 2019

Ottumwa, Iowa, June 11, 2019 — Moments ago at a campaign rally in Iowa, Joe Biden went on record supporting a climate debate, a phaseout of fossil fuel production in the United States, and a ban on fossil fuel exports.

In one video [1] captured by Greenpeace USA activists, Biden is asked, “should we have one debate dedicated to climate change?” Biden responds, “yeah, I’m all in. Take a look at what I’m talking about.” In another, he’s asked, “are you ready to commit to the responsible phaseout of fossil fuel production as part of your administration?” He responds, “yes, we’ve got to go to zero emissions, man. And we can, it’s within our wheelhouse.”

In response, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director Janet Redman said:

“Today, Joe Biden proved he’s listening to the thousands of people across the country who have called for an official debate on the climate crisis. More people than ever are reeling from climate impacts, and they deserve an ally in the White House who’s going to act with the courage and urgency this crisis merits. To stave off climate catastrophe in the next decade, we need to know where the candidates stand today — that’s why voters are calling for a climate debate. Half the Democratic field [2] has already come out in favor of a climate debate. As the leader in the polls, we’re glad to see Biden join them. The only question that remains is for the DNC: what are you waiting for?

“In 2020, true climate leadership means nothing less than saying ‘yes’ to a Green New Deal and ‘no’ to fossil fuels. Biden took a big step forward today by committing to ban fossil fuel exports as president. We now look forward to seeing his campaign put forward additional policies to end oil and gas production in the United States.”

In Greenpeace’s 2020 climate candidate ranking [3], Biden sits in seventh place with a “B” grade after the release of his climate platform last week.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez has said [4] the party will not host an official primary debate on the climate crisis, and will restrict candidates from participating in third-party climate debates. Moments ago, he doubled down on that decision in a lengthy Medium post [5]. Tomorrow, activists from a broad coalition of progressive groups will gather at the DNC headquarters in Washington, DC, to demand the party reverse its stance and provide a forum for presidential hopefuls to debate one of the greatest threats facing humanity today [6].



[1] The videos are available here and here.

[2] Michael Bennet, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mike Gravel, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang have all publicly called for a climate debate.

[3] Greenpeace USA’s interactive candidate scorecard is available here, a detailed breakdown by candidate is available here, and the scoring methodology is available here. The scorecard will continually be updated as candidates announce new plans to combat the climate crisis.



[6] Info on tomorrow’s event at the DNC headquarters is available here:


Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]


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