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Final Presidential Debate: Trump’s Climate Plan Is to Lie

by Ryan Schleeter

October 22, 2020

"The energy transition is coming whether Trump likes it or not, but with a Green New Deal we can ensure that no one is left behind."

Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr.

For the first time in the entire 2020 election cycle, climate change was on the debate agenda from the very beginning, offering Joe Biden and Donald Trump a final chance to make their case to climate voters. Rather than offer his own plan, Trump used the time to attack Joe Biden’s climate policy, call China and Russia, “filthy,” and repeated strange myths about the Green New Deal calling for “tiny little windows” [1]. Biden, meanwhile, reaffirmed his commitment to catalyzing an inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19, creating clean energy jobs, and centering environmental justice for fenceline communities.

In response, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Ashley Thomson said:

“The differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump are wider on climate than perhaps any other issue. Trump has fueled the climate crisis at every turn, selling out working people and families in order to let corporate polluters wreak havoc. It was painfully clear on the debate stage that Trump does not have a plan. His attacks on the Green New Deal and the integrity of the election only reinforce one thing — he knows he’s losing. Climate denial is not a victimless crime, and voters are ready to hold the perpetrators accountable at the ballot box in this election. 

“Joe Biden, meanwhile, has come forward with the most ambitious and far-reaching climate platform of any presidential nominee for a major party in history. We’re glad to see Biden articulate a crucial plank of the Green New Deal on the debate stage: the need to help workers transition as we move from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. The oil and gas industry is on the back foot, relying on the denier-in-chief in the White House for bailouts while it leaves its workers high and dry. The energy transition is coming whether Trump likes it or not, but with a Green New Deal we can ensure that no one is left behind. 

“If elected, the expectations for a Biden administration will be high. He must show he’s ready to move beyond false solutions and middle of the road approaches to tackle social, environmental, and economic injustice at their roots. Our movement will not rest until we’ve secured a Green New Deal and a just transition for fossil fuel workers. And yes, that includes ending fracking.”

Since the beginning of the Democratic primary in 2019, Greenpeace has tracked the climate platforms of each candidate for president from the two major parties. There has been no movement from the two candidates for months, with Joe Biden maintaining a 75.5/100 (B+) in the Greenpeace climate 2020 scorecard. The scope of Biden’s climate and clean energy plan shows how much the baseline for political action to advance environmental justice and climate solutions has shifted. Donald Trump, meanwhile, has a 0/100 (F).

ENDS

[1] Recent Data for Progress polling shows that Biden’s climate and clean energy plan and the Green New Deal remain popular with voters across the country, despite Trump’s attacks: https://www.dataforprogress.org/blog/2020/10/9/the-radical-socialist-climate-plan-biden-proposes-is-popular 

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

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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