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Greenpeace Gives Democratic Party Climate Platform a ‘C+’ on Climate

by Ryan Schleeter

August 19, 2020

"This platform is a step backwards, and we deserve better."

© Stephanie Keith / Greenpeace

This week at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), party delegates will adopt the final 2020 Democratic platform. Greenpeace has reviewed the full platform and given it a grade of C+ (52.5/100), with decent marks for advancing renewable energy and environmental justice, but critical policy gaps in addressing the power of the fossil fuel industry and no mention of the Green New Deal.

Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Charlie Jiang said:

“The Democrats have an opportunity to galvanize millions of young voters with an ambitious, visionary climate platform, but they’re making a mess of it. We thought the party that claims it wants to lead our country into the future had moved beyond a middle of the road approach to the climate crisis. This platform is a step backwards, and we deserve better. If we use this moment to divest from systems of exploitation and extraction — like police and fossil fuels — and invest in a Green New Deal for workers, families, and communities, we have the chance to navigate out of multiple crises at once.

“We know the Republicans have no plan. Even worse, Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of them continue to traffic in denial and misinformation while they orchestrate a bailout for oil and gas CEOs. But that doesn’t mean the Democrats can take their feet off the gas. We expect action at the scale that science and justice demand.”

The C+ grade is significantly lower than Greenpeace’s scores for both Joe Biden (B+, 75.5/100) and running mate Kamala Harris (B+, 77/100), both of whom have room to improve themselves. Biden and Harris have taken much more aggressive stances towards the fossil fuel industry, including strong support for ending fossil fuel subsidies, a common-sense policy that was curiously stricken from the Democratic Party Platform Committee report at the eleventh hour.

Methodology

To evaluate the platform, Greenpeace used the same methodology applied to presidential candidates’ climate plans for the climate 2020 scorecard. This methodology is based on two broad criteria. First, lawmakers must end the fossil fuel era by enacting policies to halt oil, gas, and coal expansion, phase out existing production, and center fossil fuel workers and climate-impacted communities in the transition to a renewable energy economy. Second, our elected officials must advance a Green New Deal, including mobilizing towards 100 percent renewable energy for all, creating millions of family-sustaining, union jobs, and securing a better future for communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel industry exploitation.

The 2020 Democratic Party platform earned 21/50 in the fossil fuel phase-out category and 31.5/50 in the 100 percent renewable energy category.

ENDS

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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