Climate change is one of the most pressing crises facing our planet, and communities in the U.S. and around the world are already experiencing its devastating impacts. Severe droughts, record-breaking forest fires, more powerful storms and hurricanes, flooding, water scarcity, and sea level rise have and will continue to threaten the health and safety of this and future generations. The impacts of climate change and toxic pollution hit lower income communities and communities of color hardest, exacerbating racial and economic inequities. At the same time, workers in the U.S. continue to struggle as they have seen their wages fall and their power in the workplace diminished.
The 2020 presidential election represents the last, best chance for the U.S. to confront the climate crisis.
Change the Climate 2020, a project of the League of Conservation Voters, is elevating climate action in the 2020 presidential primary elections and ensuring that candidates fully appreciate the scope of the climate crisis, make climate change a top priority, and commit to an ambitious plan to address the crisis on day one as president. None of the activities conducted through this project are intended to convey endorsement, support or opposition to any particular candidate — the goal is to promote the issue of climate action as described above.
This website aims to track and publicize what the candidates are saying and doing about climate change while campaigning for president. The candidates included on the website have formally declared their candidacies and have received at least one percent in at least one major national poll. Note that the “results” counts that appear on each candidate’s page are based on the candidates’ media coverage and social media posts and are not inclusive of every statement or action in support of addressing climate change.
Combating Climate Change and Promoting Clean Energy
Addressing climate change at the scale necessary requires transforming our energy, infrastructure (including transportation and buildings), agricultural and industrial systems while advancing a suite of policies and massive investments that create good, family-sustaining jobs and build a more sustainable, just, and equitable society.
The scale of the climate crisis requires both legislative and executive branch action. The next president’s climate action plan must include the following:
- Address the climate crisis as a very top priority starting on day one, using all the powers of the presidency and existing law and working with Congress to enact major legislation.
- Achieve 100 percent clean energy and net-zero climate pollution economy-wide no later than 2050. Transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy economy is necessary to avert the worst impacts of climate change and also a huge opportunity to create good, family-sustaining jobs, make our economy work for all people, save consumers money, and protect our health.
- Pursue the most just, equitable economic transition that supports good-paying, family-sustaining new jobs in clean energy and prioritizes investments in communities that are historically overburdened by pollution and most vulnerable to climate impacts.
- Exceed our current commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark agreement where 197 countries, including developing countries and major emitters, committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and exercise strong leadership at home and abroad to encourage other countries to increase the ambition of their domestic climate targets as quickly as possible.
- Advance strong environmental rules, including restoring and strengthening rules rolled back by the current administration, which has launched unprecedented attacks on public health and clean air and water protections.
- Champion a fair and equitable infrastructure agenda that includes a 100 percent clean energy economy, green, nature-based solutions, respects environmental laws and works to mitigate contributions to and build community resilience to a changing climate while also providing good, safe, family-sustaining jobs.
- Reject all PAC contributions from the oil, gas and coal industries which promote policies with candidates and lawmakers that harm the health of our families and worsen the climate crisis.