In December of 2015, Bernie released his campaign platform for Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet. This bold plan outlines exactly how Bernie intends to make the emissions reductions we need, and he does it in a way that takes people into account. He’s incorporated the voices of young people, workers, and low-income communities and people of color. He’s the only major candidate calling for a tax on carbon. He’s the only one calling for a 100% nuclear-free clean energy future. He’s drawing the connection between the big fossil fuels industry and our inability to implement existing solutions. He wants the US to be an international leader in the fight against climate change.
Among other things, Bernie’s plan calls for cutting U.S. carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030 and by over 80 percent by 2050 by putting a tax on carbon pollution, repealing fossil fuel subsidies and making massive investments in energy efficiency and clean, sustainable energy such as wind and solar power.
Bernie would also create a Clean-Energy Workforce of 10 million good-paying jobs by creating a 100% clean energy system. Transitioning toward a completely nuclear-free clean energy system for electricity, heating, and transportation is not only possible and affordable it will create millions of good jobs, clean up our air and water, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
He would also want to return billions of dollars to consumers impacted by the transformation of our energy system and protect the most vulnerable communities in the country suffering the ravages of climate change. Bernie will tax polluters causing the climate crisis, and return billions of dollars to working families to ensure the fossil fuel companies don’t subject us to unfair rate hikes. Bernie knows that climate change will not affect everyone equally – disenfranchised minority communities and the working poor will be hardest hit. The carbon tax will also protect those most impacted by the transformation of our energy system and protect the most vulnerable communities in the country suffering the ravages of climate change.
He would also create a national environmental and climate justice plan that recognizes the heightened public health risks faced by low-income and minority communities. Low-income and minority neighborhoods will continue to be the hardest hit if we don’t act to stop climate change now. The reality of the impacts of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans exposed the broader trend that low-income and minority communities face the brunt of climate change impacts first and worst.
Bernie would also embrace a science-based standard for carbon pollution emissions reductions. We have a very limited window of time to transition away from fossil fuels toward clean energy for all Americans to prevent a global temperature increase that will cause cataclysmic impacts. Bernie knows that to maintain a safe and healthy planet for our kids and grandchildren we must listen to the scientists who say we must decrease carbon pollution emissions by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.
According to 350.org Action, On issues ranging from Arctic drilling to fossil fuel divestment to fracking to #ExxonKnew, Bernie Sanders’ positions align with climate movement. Read more here.
Bernie Sanders strongly believes climate change is real, catastrophic, and largely caused by human activities. He believes only aggressive immediate action can offset its future impacts. He often refers to it as the “great planetary crisis we now face”. Bernie unabashedly stands behind the findings of the National Climate Assessment and the IPCC’s fifth assessment report. This link summarizes his stance and past voting record, and includes video of him taking on the climate deniers like Senator James Inhofe.
Introduced the gold standard for climate change legislation with Sen. Barbara Boxer to tax carbon and methane emissions. The bill contains the following measures:
The carbon price applies only to “upstream” producers, that is, the points of origin for fossil fuels—coal mines, oil refineries, natural gas processing points and so on. It would also apply to any imported fossil fuels, at the point of importation.
The price also applies to only 2,869 of the largest fossil fuel polluters, which covers 85 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions.
The carbon price would raise $1.2 trillion in revenue, according to the CBO. A large portion of that revenue would go towards investments in clean energy and energy efficiency: weatherizing 1 million homes per year, tripling the federal budget for energy research and development via ARPA-E, and creating a $500 billion sustainable technologies finance program, and providing worker training for clean energy technologies, among other initiatives. Using revenue from the carbon price and from ending subsidies to oil and gas companies, the Sanders-Boxer legislation would also pay $300 billion towards deficit reduction.
Since this would likely boost natural gas production, the bill contains several fracking safeguards: it ends current fracking exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act, and heightens disclosure requirements for fracking chemicals.