climate policy – Solar Tribune https://solartribune.com Solar Energy News, Analysis, Education Sun, 28 Feb 2021 18:25:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Economic Downturn Highlights Need for a ‘Just Transition’ https://solartribune.com/economic-downturn-highlights-need-for-a-just-transition/ Sat, 30 Jan 2021 14:04:25 +0000 https://solartribune.com/?p=68993 The dueling crises of the pandemic-induced economic downturn and the ever-persistent threat of climate change are reinvigorating the conversation about a ‘just transition’ for fossil fuels workers. A Just Transition is Good Politics In just the first several days of his presidency, President Biden has made it clear that addressing climate change will be a […]

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The dueling crises of the pandemic-induced economic downturn and the ever-persistent threat of climate change are reinvigorating the conversation about a ‘just transition’ for fossil fuels workers.

A Just Transition is Good Politics

In just the first several days of his presidency, President Biden has made it clear that addressing climate change will be a prominent feature of his administration. The President has assembled the largest team ever inside the White House that is dedicated to climate change policy. This so-called Climate Cabinet is a recognition by Biden that climate change is no longer a niche public policy challenge that can be pursued within the confines of the Environmental Policy Agency, but rather, an expansive challenge affecting ever corner of the federal government.

The brute politics of climate change on Capitol Hill, however, have not changed much since Biden was last in the White House. Political intransigence from U.S. Senators from fossil fuels-dependent states remains an omnipresent challenge to achieving any big legislative victory on the climate change front. This is especially true in an evenly divided Senate where Joe Manchin – from heavily coal-dependent West Virginia – is arguably the body’s most influential Senator.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to fundamentally change the politics of climate change by highlighting the importance of a “just transition.” Put simply, a “just transition” is a term used to emphasize that the people and communities that powered America since the days of the Industrial Revolution deserve to be supported – not left behind – as we pivot to a more sustainable approach to producing energy. While the fossil fuels industry is rightfully criticized for its role in exacerbating the effects of climate change, workers within the industry are just trying to earn a respectable living and support their families, often in communities with few other job prospects.

Photo Source: Movement Generation

On the campaign trail, Biden leaned into this conversation. His Climate Plan calls for the formation of a taskforce to help coal and power plant-dependent communities diversify their economies. The taskforce would:

“…help these communities access federal investments and leverage private sector investments to help create high-paying union jobs based upon the unique assets of each community, partner with unions and community colleges to create training opportunities for these new jobs…”

The Climate Plan also encourages the passing of federal legislation that would protect the retirement benefits of miners, their widows, and their dependents.

Not only are the above policies morally just, but they are also good politics that can hopefully loosen the logjam on Capitol Hill. It is imperative to not shun fossil fuels workers or make them feel guilty for the climate predicament our world is confronting. Federal policies that provide for the retraining of fossil fuels workers, in addition to other financial incentives, need to be a pivotal component to any broader climate change policy. This mindset is critical to winning support from members of Congress who represent districts and states that are heavily dependent on the fossil fuels industry.

COVID-19 Adds Urgency to the Moment

People who work in the fossil fuels industry and/or who live in communities whose economies rely on the industry have long been presented with a false choice – either you can have a job or have a healthy environment, but not both. In reality, robust climate action will have a stimulating effect on the economy and clean energy job prospects are overwhelmingly brighter than those in the fossil fuels industry.

This is precisely the message that John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, made just days ago during his first appearance in the White House Press Briefing Room.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of the fossil fuels industry. In many respects, the pandemic has just greatly accelerated the employment trends seen in the clean energy sector visa vie the fossil fuels sector for years. The 2020 Clean Jobs Report released by E2 noted that in 2019, total clean energy jobs outnumbered total fossil fuels industry jobs by a 3-to-1 margin.

Photo Source: E2 Clean Jobs Report, 2020

Clean energy jobs also grew at a greater clip than all jobs nationally in the immediate 5-year period before the 2020 economic downturn that so disproportionately affected the fossil fuels industry.

Photo Source: E2 Clean Jobs Report, 2020

Clean energy job growth outpaced job growth in the fossil fuels industry, especially in fossil fuel-dependent states like Pennsylvania before COVID and that trend is only likely to accelerate once we are on the other side of the pandemic.

It should come as little surprise that many fossil fuels workers dealing with job losses related to the COVID-19 downturn are finding re-employment opportunities in the solar industry. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle highlighted this dynamic in Texas. The Lone Star state has seen a flood of large-scale solar investments in recent years, with companies like Lighthouse BP, a San Francisco-based solar company, investing more than $1 billion in solar projects in the state. Their CEO, Kevin Smith, noted that their growth is being supported by an influx of former oil and gas workers.

“No question, we are getting workers moving over from oil and gas. A lot of the oil and gas skills are applicable to solar.”

Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, an Austin-based clean-energy research firm, thinks that this dynamic is just beginning.

“Oil and gas is boom and bust, while solar has seen nothing but gradual growth over the last 10 years. This is where the jobs are going to be and where the economy is heading. If you’re not going to make the shift, you’re going to be left behind.”

We as a country can’t afford to allow today’s fossil fuels workers to be left behind. The social, economic, and political consequences are too great. While clean energy job prospects are appealing, old habits die hard. There is a great deal of familial pride and personal dignity that today’s coal miners find in their line of work. The collapse of the coal industry under COVID-19 only adds urgency to the just transition movement.

Germany Offers a Blueprint

While the United States largely shirked its climate change responsibilities in recent years, other developed countries pursued bold action. Germany is one such nation that passed historic legislation to wean the country off coal, while still supporting the economic needs of coal workers.

Last summer, Germany passed groundbreaking legislation to phase-out all of the country’s coal power plants by 2038. The legislation was born out of the multi-year efforts of a commission that consisted of industry, academia, environmental groups, and labor unions. Not only did this historic legislation establish a timetable for shuttering the country’s coal-fired power plants, it ensured that coal-dependent regions would receive critical government support to deal with the economic shock from such a move.

The legislation earmarked 40 billion euros in government aid to coal-dependent regions and ensured that coal plant operators would be compensated for shutting down capacity.

Germany has combined federal financial support for transitioning coal workers with local-led efforts focused on coal plant adaptive reuse and community revitalization strategies for an effective holistic approach that ensures a just transition for coal workers. In an example of the latter, a massive former coal  mining complex in Essen, Germany was preserved and transformed into a UNESCO World Heritage site that now pumps tourism dollars into the community and serves as a prominent cultural amenity. Other examples can be found in the video below.

 

A holistic approach that phases out coal-fired power plants, invites key stakeholder groups to the policymaking table, and commits federal dollars to worker retraining programs and other support programs may serve as integral elements to a Biden Administration-led effort to aggressively combat climate change in way that is fair and just for America’s fossil fuels workers.

There are growing signs that the typical political alignment on climate change is being reshuffled. Just recently, some of the biggest names in corporate America like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Ford Motor Co. CEO, Bill Ford, penned a letter to President Biden pledging their support to the fight against climate change and committing to creating more American jobs in the process. They understand that the stakes couldn’t be higher. A recent poll commissioned by the United Nations dubbed as the “biggest survey ever” of global sentiment on climate change found that almost 2/3’s of the 1.2 million people surveyed agree that the world is currently in a state of climate emergency.

The politics as usual approach to climate change can’t persist forever in the United States. Legislation that places a premium on a just transition for fossil fuel workers may be the key to unlocking the support needed on Capitol Hill to go big.

 

Cover Photo Source: World Oil

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Silver Linings Emerge for Solar Industry Amid COVID-19 Pandemic https://solartribune.com/silver-linings-emerge-for-solar-industry-amid-covid-19-pandemic/ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 14:24:29 +0000 https://solartribune.com/?p=67712 The negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn have had on the solar industry is well-documented. Some under-the-radar benefits have emerged, however, that underscore the staying power of solar energy and the renewables sector. Planet Earth Enjoys a Respite The “stay at home” orders and restrictions in travel implemented by countries across […]

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The negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn have had on the solar industry is well-documented. Some under-the-radar benefits have emerged, however, that underscore the staying power of solar energy and the renewables sector.

Planet Earth Enjoys a Respite

The “stay at home” orders and restrictions in travel implemented by countries across the world earlier this year to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus represented a first-of-its kind social experiment that sought to collectively change human behavior on a massive scale. An unexpected benefit of this unprecedented disruption to modern life was the ensuing sharp reduction in carbon emissions, which gave Mother Earth a much-needed break in its ongoing battle against global warming.

In China alone, carbon emissions fell by 100 million metric tons according to one analysis that focused on a 2-week period after the Chinese New Year on January 25.

A scientific study released by environmental researchers in May noted that daily carbon emission levels in early April – when restrictions on movement were most widespread – fell by 17% from 2019’s average levels. The scientists focused their research on 69 countries that are collectively responsible for 97% of global carbon emissions. The researchers anticipate that emissions for the year will fall by 7% compared to 2019, which would be the biggest year-over-year drop since World War II.

Although welcome news, the decline in carbon emissions also shows the limitations of reducing emissions by altering human behavior alone. Afterall, 83% of carbon emissions remained in place even with almost all of the top polluting countries in the world curtailing their emissions in an unprecedented way. This reality underscores why more widespread adoption of solar energy and other forms of renewables need to play a central role in the fight against climate change, since behavioral modifications by humans can only achieve so much.

Solar Panel Output Ticks Up

The clearer skies brought on by worldwide “stay at home” orders have also led to another surprising outcome that environmentalists and clean energy enthusiasts are hailing – a noticeable jump in solar energy output.

A study released earlier this month in the scientific journal Joule studied the impact that less polluted skies in Delhi, India had on the solar energy capturing abilities of solar panels in the city. Researchers focused on Delhi in part because it is one of the most polluted cities in the world. India also enacted a quick and dramatic lockdown starting on March 24, making before and after comparisons easier to capture.

Photo Source: The Guardian; Pictured: New Delhi’s India Gate war memorial on 17 October 2019 and on 8 April 2020

The researchers found that the amount of sunlight reaching solar panels in Delhi during the lockdown increased by 8% in late March and 6% in April compared to the same time periods in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The researchers make the unmistakable tie between air quality and the effectiveness of solar energy systems, an often-overlooked component of the solar efficiency equation. This study confirms similar work conducted in 2018 on the deleterious effect of air pollution on solar panel efficiency in Delhi.

A reduction in carbon emissions and the continued adoption of solar energy go hand-in-glove when it comes to any meaningful climate action plan. As one of the study’s contributing authors, Ian Marius Peters, put it:

“We’ve gotten a glimpse of what a world with better air looks like and see that there may be an opportunity to ‘flatten the climate curve.’ I believe solar panels can play an important role, and that going forward having more PV installations could help drive a positive feedback loop that will result in clearer and cleaner skies.”

Wholesale changes in emissions standards the world over would instantly make existing solar energy infrastructure more productive. This fact underscores the great compounding effect that carbon reduction policies and expanded solar energy adoption can have in reversing the effects of climate change.

Shutdowns Hit Fossil Fuels the Hardest

The disruption that COVID-19 brought to the energy sector may have been dramatic, but at the same time, it didn’t dramatically alter the long-term trends that have been apparent for some time now. In fact, the virus-induced lockdowns that roiled the energy sector are likely to only hasten the decline of the fossil fuels industry.

As we’ve noted before at Solar Tribune, the oil and gas industry was upended by the lockdowns imposed earlier this year. The sharp decline in demand resulted in the once unthinkable – the price of crude oil was driven into negative territory.

Meanwhile, the current state and outlook for the coal industry is even worse. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects coal production in the United States to fall by 25% in 2020 due in large part to the sharp months-long decline in industrial production resulting from virus-induced lockdowns. Coal is also the only major source of electricity generation that the EIA projects will decline as a share of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation. EIA projections show a fall from 24% in 2019 to 17% in 2020 before a small rebound to 20% in 2021.

Photo Source: Graph created by Solar Tribune; data from the EIA

Just as COVID-19 did little to disrupt the decline of the fossil fuels industry, so too will the renewables energy continue its upward trajectory. The U.S. solar market installed a record breaking 3.6 GW of solar PV in Q1, according to a recent report from the SEIA and Wood Mackenzie. This largely represents the pre-COVID landscape, and Q2 is surely to be worse. However, Wood Mackenzie still projects 33% annual growth with nearly 18 GW of solar PV installations brought online in 2020, thanks in large part to the utility-scale solar sector that will buoy the industry as residential and commercial installs take a COVID-related hit. EIA also remains bullish on the broader renewables sector, noting the following in their latest market outlook released in June:

“EIA forecasts that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of electricity generation in 2020. EIA expects the electric power sector will add 23.2 gigawatts of new wind capacity and 12.6 gigawatts of utility-scale solar capacity in 2020.”

The post-pandemic world will be much different than the pre-pandemic world. That much is for certain. There’s a renewed opportunity for solar energy specifically and the renewable sector generally to play a bigger role in fueling the energy needs of the world and in combating climate change. Let’s hope that the political will is there to make this post-pandemic world a reality.

 

Cover Photo Source: Bloomberg

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Public Polling Favors Climate Action, More Solar Adoption https://solartribune.com/public-polling-favors-climate-action-more-solar-adoption/ Tue, 28 Jan 2020 16:41:40 +0000 https://solartribune.com/?p=67289 Public polling continues to show that the American public is increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change and they are eager to push their elected leaders to action. Climate Change by the Numbers The topic of climate change and the role that humans have played in the warming of the planet remains heavily debated […]

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Public polling continues to show that the American public is increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change and they are eager to push their elected leaders to action.

Climate Change by the Numbers

The topic of climate change and the role that humans have played in the warming of the planet remains heavily debated within American political circles. The science and facts behind climate change, however, are unmistakable. According to NASA, 97% or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” The world’s five warmest years have all occurred since 2015, according to NOAA, with 2019 being the second-warmest year in NOAA’s 140-year climate record (behind only 2016).

The scientific case for urgently addressing climate change is well established, but historically speaking, less than overwhelming consensus among the general public has somewhat dampened the willingness of U.S. politicians to be moved to action when it comes to supporting a widespread pro-renewables policy agenda. That is all beginning to change.

The Pew Research Center is arguably the gold standard when it comes to public polling in the United States. For decades, Pew has conducted polling on political, social, cultural, and economic topics that are of interest to the American public. Their time-series data tracking public opinions about climate change gives reason to be optimistic that a shared consensus around climate action is forming.

Polling from July of last year revealed that 57% of Americans agree that “global climate change is a major threat to the well-being of the United States.” This marks a 17-point increase in the share of Americans who agreed with that statement in 2013.

Source: Pew Research Center

While the greatest gains among those agreeing that climate change threatens the well-being of the country are concentrated among self-identifying Democrats, it is notable that over time, people of all political persuasions have become more likely to agree on the topic. The share of Liberal Democrats and Moderate/Conservative Democrats agreeing with the statement increased by 30 points and 21 points respectively. The gains experienced among Moderate/Liberal Republicans (+9 points) and Conservative Republicans (+5 points) were less dramatic, but still noteworthy. The sooner that climate change stops being a partisan issue, the sooner that bipartisan progress can be achieved on the most pressing issue of our time.

Not only are a majority of Americans in agreement that climate change threatens the nation’s well-being, but clear majorities also agree that the federal government should be doing more to combat the effects of climate change. Over two-thirds of Americans believe that the “federal government is doing too little to reduce effects of global climate change,” according to polling conducted last October. Findings are similar for those saying that the government should ramp up efforts to protect air (67%) and water quality (68%).

Source: Pew Research Center

Global Warming Effects Getting Harder for Public to Ignore

One of the powers of social media is its ability to connect people who are worlds apart. This helps to build a shared sense of global awareness around topics and current events that would otherwise be impossible to achieve during the era of traditional media.

The historic and devastating brushfire crisis that ushered in the new year in Australia is one such example. Heartbreaking images and videos of the debilitating impact of the brushfires on the people, wildlife, and habitat of Australia captured the attention of a global audience. Damage assessments continue, but the accumulated loss of property and natural habitat from the brushfires is staggering. The fires have burned through over 46 million acres of land, destroyed over 5,900 buildings, killed at least 34 people, and have killed an estimated one billion animals.

Source: NY Times

The effects of climate change don’t manifest themselves in isolated weather events, but weather-related catastrophes – like the Australian brushfires – create a heightened sense of urgency among even casual observers in the general public. This reality is likely a key contributing factor to the growing shift in public opinion on climate change as well-publicized and high impact natural disasters have become more commonplace in recent years.

Americans Agree That Solar is the Future

Solar capacity in the United States has increased exponentially in this century alone. The fact that the widespread growth in solar energy adoption across residential, commercial, and utility sectors has coincided roughly with an uptick in the share of Americans who feel that climate change threatens the well-being of the country is no accident. Americans know that the solutions to reversing the ill effects of climate change are right in front of us, and support for more solar energy and renewable energy adoption has never been higher.

An October 2019 survey by Pew revealed that 77% of adults in the U.S. say that developing alternative energy is the “more important priority for U.S. energy supply,” compared with just 22% who said the same about expanding fossil fuels. In the same survey, a whopping 92% of respondents were in favor of there being “more solar panel farms” in the United States, including clear majorities of self-identifying Republicans (86% in favor) and Democrats (96% in favor).

This sky-high support for “solar panel farms” implies that Americans want government, utilities, and corporations to make the large-scale solar infrastructure investments needed to wean the country off of fossil fuels. However, the share of Americans willing to assume the burden themselves and embrace solar investments on their own residences also continues to rise. In 2019, 46% of homeowners stated that they gave serious thought to installing solar panels on their home, an increase from the 40% who said so just 3 years prior.

The fact that almost nine-in-ten Republicans and nine-in-ten Democrats support more investments in solar farms in the United States is no small feat. It is also an important reminder of the overwhelming popularity that solar energy enjoys in the country. Meanwhile, public consensus continues to steadily build for a more urgent approach to tackling the world’s climate crisis. Although the current political climate can make pro-renewables enthusiasts feel helpless and pessimistic about the future of our planet, the abundance of public polling provides reason to be optimistic. Quite simply, Americans know the urgency with which we must act to reverse the effects of climate change and they know what can get us there. It’s high time for Americans politicians to reflect this clear will of the people.

 

Cover Photo Source: NY Times

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You Can Profoundly Impact Climate Change https://solartribune.com/you-can-profoundly-impact-climate-change/ Thu, 31 Oct 2019 12:19:01 +0000 https://solartribune.com/?p=66893 Although climate change should frighten you, the question remains, “What can I do about it?” There is a simple, effective way for every American to personally, profoundly impact climate action and it is as close as your local voting booth. Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s 2020 Presidential Voter’s Guide empowers Americans to make climate change a […]

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Although climate change should frighten you, the question remains, “What can I do about it?” There is a simple, effective way for every American to personally, profoundly impact climate action and it is as close as your local voting booth.

Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s 2020 Presidential Voter’s Guide empowers Americans to make climate change a top priority. Our voter’s guide gives Democrats and Republicans running for president, a climate calculation, clearly distinguishing candidates on the issue. It allows voters to choose climate-action in 2020, perhaps one of our last chances to prioritize the climate emergency.

Our guide sharply differentiates Democratic frontrunners for president on climate change. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders top all candidates, with overall climate calculations of 93.75. By contrast, Joe Biden’s overall climate calculation is 68.75. Compare that to Republican incumbent Donald Trump who is a climate zero. Voting according to our voter’s guide, climate calculations may make the difference between life and death on our planet.

Image result for vote climate change

Photo Source: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

Climate Policy and Our Voter’s Guide

 At Vote Climate U.S. PAC, we built our organizational mission around three, indispensable, policy pillars: putting a fee on carbon pollution; transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030; and keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Taken together, these policies, which ground our 2020 presidential voter’s guide, will put the U.S. solidly on the path to slowing climate change and the existential threat it represents.

Fee on Carbon Pollution

A fee on carbon polluters is a fee imposed on fossil fuels, ultimately intended to eliminate the emission of carbon dioxide. Vote Climate U.S. PAC believes that a fee on carbon polluters is an essential piece of the Green New Deal or any comprehensive legislation to slow climate change. A carbon fee would compel energy producers to switch from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy or lose their competitive edge.

Polluters, like fossil fuel companies who pump excessive carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, driving climate change and related weather extremes, should pay the price. That is what a fee on carbon polluters would accomplish, especially in a fee and dividend policy, where Americans would receive a regular check, to offset any increase in energy costs that may result.

A fee on carbon pollution must: set an ambitious, concrete goal for emission reductions that is adequate to slow climate change; and place an adequate price per ton of carbon to reflect the societal cost of emissions. It must be paid by the polluters and set a deadline for achieving emission reduction goals, that slows climate change on a timeline for human survival.

Message matters in politics. Polls show that voters want to tax carbon, as long as you don’t call it a “carbon tax.” Call it “a fee on carbon pollution,” or a “fee on carbon polluters,” because that’s what it is.

No presidential candidate merited an overall climate calculation of 100 because nearly all Democratic candidates need to improve their climate calculations in the “carbon fee” category. Warren, Sanders and Biden all support a fee on carbon pollution, but all three score only 75 on carbon fee. They all need to become more powerful advocates and stronger voices on that issue.

100% Renewable Energy by 2030

The world may only have until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The difference between using 100% clean energy by 2030 or 2050, could be the difference between meeting the limit of 1.5 degrees of global warming, set in the Paris Agreement, or not.

The difference between climate calculations for Democratic frontrunners Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden comes partially from Biden’s failure to match Warren’s and Sander’s advocacy for 100% renewable energy by 2030.  Biden’s call for a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by no later than 2050 is too little, too late.

Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground

 The transition to clean, renewable energy can happen quickly, but only by keeping fossil fuels in the ground. We need to end fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuel extraction on public lands, both of which are necessary in order to receive full credit in our voter’s guide.

Vice President Biden supports ending fossil fuel subsidies and ending fossil fuel extraction on public lands, as does Sanders and Warren. But Biden signed the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge” and then violated that pledge by attending a fundraising event co-hosted by Western LNG’s co-founder Andrew Goldman. Senators Warren and Sanders have signed and stayed true to the pledge.

Image result for keep fossil fuels in the ground

Photo Source: Green Peace

Other Candidates

 Among other Democratic candidates, Senator Cory Booker, who tied Warren, Sanders, and Tom Steyer with a climate calculation of 93.75, received a 100 for his position on a carbon fee. An achievement not shared by Warren or Sanders. Booker faltered only in not committing to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s refusal to commit to 100% renewable energy also hurt his climate calculation, but he received an 87.50. He got a 100 for his support and public advocacy on a carbon fee, which he endorsed on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.

Candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Beto O’Rourke’s climate calculations are 62.50 and 68.75 respectively. Neither candidate has backed a carbon fee or the achievement of 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The staggering partisan divide on climate change, between Democratic and Republican candidates for president, is glaring in our guide. Unlike Democratic scores, Republican incumbent Donald Trump is a climate zero and his GOP challengers score little better. No other leadership, anywhere else in the world, denies climate change like President Trump and the Republican party in the U.S. Voters who care about climate change, should shun Republicans presidential candidates from consideration based on their dismal climate calculations, especially the incumbent.

As climate striker Isabel, 15 says, “We’re here to make a difference and make people hear us. We’re not the same, we’re a new generation who will vote them out.” Our Vote Climate U.S. PAC 2020 POTUS voter’s guide provides information on these issues and more to make a personal, profound difference on climate change.

 

Karyn Strickler is president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC. Jake Assael, lead researcher, contributed to this article.

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