With election season just around the corner, several key campaign issues are top of mind for American voters. One of them is climate change, with42% of recently surveyed voters saying that climate change will be “very important” in their 2020 vote. Climate change also happens to be one of the most polarizing election issues: in fact, it represents the widest gap in terms of concern amongst supporters of President Trump and Joe Biden, with a difference of 57 percentage points. In other words, Democrats appear significantly more concerned about the effects of climate change andhow to combat them.
In the age of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the issue of climate change has become especially important.
In the age of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the issue of climate change has become especially important. With a great deal of the public and media attention being directed at the pandemic, little attention is being paid to changes occurring in the fossil fuel industry. With more people working remotely to abide by stay-at-home orders, there are less commuters on the roads, which has led to a huge drop in oil and gas prices. With the sector in a state of relative crisis, now is widely considered as the perfect time to propel the climate justice movement forward. This spotlight on climate justice is making it an extremely hot button topic for the upcoming election.
When it comes tothe effects of climate change, voters must examine what role they will play in the 2020 election and examine each candidate’s approach in handling these issues to make an educated vote.
Having previously deemed climate change a “hoax,” President Trump does not appear to be prioritizing climate change in his 2020 platform. His63 bullet-point election agenda, which includes categories like "Jobs," "Eradicate COVID-19" and "End our reliance on China," makes no direct mention of the environment or climate change. While the agenda does include goals on achieving the “cleanest water” and “cleanest air” for American citizens, it does not specify how these objectives will be met. It has been hypothesized that the lack of comprehensive climate change policy in the president’s platform is due to the fact that climate change is not one of the top concerns among Republican voters.
On the other hand, Democratic nominee Joe Biden is proposing what is being considered by some as one of the mostambitious climate change action plans ever put forward by a presidential candidate. The plan’s core goal is to decarbonize the U.S.’ electricity system by 2035 and to reach zero carbon emissions for the entire economy by the year 2050. The ambitious plan is accompanied by a significant price tag: Biden plans to spend US$2 trillion on research for new green technology, clean infrastructure, and retrofitting buildings across the country for energy efficiency.
Few election issues are as divisive as climate change and American citizens are likely to see that trend continue in the 2020 presidential election with President Trump and Joe Biden taking drastically different stances on the subject. American voters must educate themselves on each party’s platform to guarantee they make the best voting decision for themselves come November.