Warren Becomes First 2020 Candidate With a Plan to Protect Our Oceans – Greenpeace Response

December 10, 2019

December 10, 2019 — Today, Elizabeth Warren released her “Blue New Dealplan, in which she commits to protect and restore ocean habitats and phase out existing offshore oil and gas drilling, while guaranteeing wage parity and benefits for workers.

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Jack Shapiro said:

“The climate crisis is an oceans crisis, and it’s vital that our next president realize we’re already in hot water. Only by phasing out fossil fuels and creating a network of ocean sanctuaries can we prevent the worst impacts of climate change on ocean ecosystems, which millions of people rely on for their food and livelihoods. 

“Instead of opening virtually all US waters to dangerous oil and gas drilling — as Trump has so far unsuccessfully tried to do — we should be shifting investment to clean, community-powered renewable energy and giving our oceans a chance to recover from decades of industrial exploitation. We’re glad to see Senator Warren putting ocean protection on the national stage with this plan.” 

Greenpeace USA Senior Oceans Campaigner Arlo Hemphill said:

“This plan lays out ambitious goals for the protection of the nearly 50 percent of the planet covered by international waters, but falls short of calling for a Global Ocean Treaty. A Global Ocean Treaty, which is currently under negotiation, would go beyond Warren’s plan to address all ocean impacts on the high seas — from deep sea mining to plastic pollution, fisheries, and more.” 

Warren currently sits in second place with an “A-” grade in the Greenpeace 2020 climate scorecard [1]. She trails ranking leader Bernie Sanders by nine points. 

A Greenpeace International report [2] released last week found that the breakdown of the oceans due to fossil fuel use is rapid and large-scale, already disrupting ecosystem structure and functions across the globe, and resulting in ocean heating, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation. 


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

[2] In Hot Water: The Climate Crisis and the Urgent Need for Ocean Protection 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] 

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