What Are The Presidential Candidates' Views On Climate Change?
All things considered. I'm Elsa Chang and I'm Ari Shapiro. We're spending a few days this week digging into where the presidential candidates stand on some of the key issues in this election. Today, it's climate change. President Trump and Joe Biden have dramatically different views. Biden has an aggressive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Trump is focused on boosting fossil fuels. We learn more. We're joined by Jeff Brady of NPR's climate team. Hi Jeff Diary start by summing up for us. What President Trump has done on climate in his first term climate change is not a priority for him in the past. He's even called it a hoax. But Trump has softened his language a bit on this. At the first presidential debate Last month, the president was asked what he believes about climate change. I want crystal clean water and air. I want beautiful, clean air. We have now the lowest carbon. If you look at our numbers right now, we are doing phenomenally, but I haven't destroyed our businesses. Trump's still doesn't display much understanding about how humans are changing the climate. But as you heard there, he does brag about carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector going down. That's not because of anything Trump has done. It's because cleaner and cheaper renewable energy and natural gas air replacing coal for generating electricity. Trump has this energy dominance agenda. It's a combination of promoting domestic energy, mostly fossil fuels. And getting rid of regulations that might hinder the drilling and mining that produces those fuels. So he pulled out of the Paris climate agreement. He's rolled back dozens of environmental regulations, including President Obama's clean power plan, and also strict fuel efficiency standards for cars. On the campaign trail. President Trump often ties Joe Biden two proposals like the Green new Deal and banning fracking. Those issues might hurt biting and ki energy producing swing states like Pennsylvania but clear this up for us What our Biden's position On those topics and what are his actual climate proposals? Well, Biden says the green new deal is a good framework. But he has his own climate plan, and the only supports parent banning new fracking on public land. And there's very little of that. In Pennsylvania on climate change bite an echo scientists that humans are changing the climate and emissions must be reduced quickly. His detailed climate plan has a big job creation focus. He calls for spending $2 trillion over four years for a wide range of environmental projects, Things like plugging abandoned mines and building electric vehicle charging stations across the country. There's so many things that we can do now to create thousands of thousands of jobs. We can get to net zero in terms of energy production by 2035, not only not costing people jobs, creating jobs. On top of that 2035 goal for the electricity sector that he mentioned at the first debate. Biden's plan aims for net zero carbon emissions across the entire US economy, including transportation by 2050. That seems like an enormous pivot. When you think of all the power plant's vehicles, airplanes in the U. S it zbig reach. Is it possible it would cost trillions of dollars and require big changes really fast. Under this plan, fossil fuels, though, would still be used, but there would be offsets and carbon capture projects to reach that. Net zero goal. Biden has a long list of what he calls day. One executive actions Some are about reversing trumps rollback. Something's like methane emissions and those car fuel efficiency standards. There's also directives for the federal government by zero emission vehicles and make buildings more efficient. He has an ambitious legislative agenda that includes an enforcement mechanism mechanism to meet that net zero by 2050 goal. And to do all this. Given the political polarization around climate change, his party probably will have to control both houses of Congress. Looks like Democrats will hold on to the house, but the Senate is still in question there. And if President Trump is re elected, what is his second term climate agenda look like AA lot of the environmental rollbacks from his first four years are being challenged in court now, so resolving those battles and cementing trumps deregulation agenda would be a big focus. He'd continue pushing for more exploration and drilling on public land and offshore. But very little focus on addressing climate change, which you know, scientists say the world needs to do that to minimize its worst effects in coming decades. That's NPR's Jeff Brady. Thanks, Jeff. Thank you. The film that