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Comparing Major 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Proposed Climate Change Plans

Joe Biden Holds Official Presidential Campaign Kickoff Rally In Philadelphia
Joe Biden Holds Official Presidential Campaign Kickoff Rally In Philadelphia
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren both unveiled ambitious climate change proposal today. 

Both of the proposals include the goal of completely cutting net emissions of greenhouses gases by 2050, which is also the objective laid out in the Green New Deal. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s proposal is a ten year, $1.7 trillion plan, that includes trade penalties for non-compliant countries, to be paid for by reinstating President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.  
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) proposes directing $2 trillion towards tackling climate change, in part by taxing corporations. 

Warren and Biden aren’t the only presidential candidates who’ve dropped climate change proposals. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has proposed totally getting rid of greenhouse gases by 2031. And former Rep. Beto O’Rourke also supports the 2050 goal, proposing $1.5 trillion in spending.

These proposals might be politically energizing, but are they viable? Who will foot the bill? We compare and contrast the currently available plans. 


Amy Harder, energy and climate change reporter for the news site Axios in Washington DC; her weekly column “Harder Line” focuses on climate change; she tweets @AmyAHarder

Nick Loris, an energy economist at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington D.C.