Inslee Maintains Slim Lead in Updated Greenpeace Climate Ranking

by Ryan Schleeter

June 19, 2019

With just one week until the first Democratic primary debate in Miami, Florida, Jay Inslee has maintained his place at the top of Greenpeace’s 2020 climate ranking [1]. The ranking was updated today to reflect new plans and commitments from top contenders.

The top ten now stands at:

  1. Jay Inslee – A-
  2. Cory Booker – A-
  3. Bernie Sanders – B+
  4. Elizabeth Warren – B+
  5. Kirsten Gillibrand – B
  6. Tulsi Gabbard – B
  7. Joe Biden – B
  8. Marianne Williamson – B
  9. Beto O’Rourke – B-
  10. Pete Buttigieg – C

Notable changes include Cory Booker elevating his grade to an A- after coming out in support of banning fracking [2], Elizabeth Warren breaking a fourth-place tie with Kirsten Gillibrand on the strength of her Green Manufacturing Plan [3], and Pete Buttigieg replacing Kamala Harris in the top ten after stating he supports banning fracking, ending federal fossil fuel leasing, and reducing fossil fuel subsidies [4].

Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Charlie Jiang said:

“The race to the top is on. Voters have made it abundantly clear that an ambitious plan to combat the climate crisis is a must-have for the next president, and the candidates are starting to respond. But their work is not done until they’ve told us how they will confront the fossil fuel industry for its role in creating the climate crisis.

“At next week’s Democratic primary debate in Miami, the candidates must give specific proposals for ending the fossil fuel industry’s influence over our democracy and economy. No matter who the next president is, we know that Exxon and BP will throw their weight behind blocking climate action. But the science is clear: we can’t keep burning coal, oil, and gas if we’re going to avoid climate catastrophe. We need a president willing to look fossil fuel executives directly in the eye and say, ‘no more.’”

Despite receiving high marks for their support of the Green New Deal and proposals to invest in renewable energy, none of the leading candidates have offered enough specific proposals for phasing out fossil fuel production to earn an A grade. This could include banning new fossil fuel leasing on public lands, denying federal permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure, and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies [5].

After releasing a detailed climate plan at the beginning of the month, Joe Biden elevated his grade from D- to B, and currently sits in seventh place. At a campaign stop in Iowa last week, he also went on record supporting a climate debate and ending fossil fuel exports [6]. Donald Trump remains in last place in the ranking with zero out of a possible 100 points and an F.



[1] The interactive candidate scorecard is available here, a detailed breakdown by candidate is available here, and the scoring methodology and change log is available here.






To maintain independence, Greenpeace USA does not endorse or oppose any political party, candidate, or elected official. We work to hold all candidates for office to the standard that science says is necessary to avert climate crisis, which means supporting a Green New Deal and ending fossil fuels.

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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