Climate change has become a top tier issue for U.S. voters as record-breaking heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme weather events have ravaged the country.

With under a week left until Election Day, the stakes of the election are monumental as the two presidential candidates’ plans on climate change vary greatly.

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Source: Reuters/Youtube

Joe Biden calls climate change an existential threat to humanity while President Trump continues to ignore climate science.

Biden has outlined plans to invest in clean energy while Trump has pushed for an expansion of oil and gas drilling.

Biden plans to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement after Trump pulled the country from the pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under Trump, emissions have remained at dangerously high levels.

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Trump has weakened regulations on mercury, methane, and uranium, endangered the health of humans and animal species, while Biden plans to restore critical protections and hold polluters accountable for destroying biodiversity.

Key Points of Biden’s Climate Plan

Biden plans to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and net-zero carbon pollution from the electricity sector by 2035 by:

  • Investing $2 trillion over four years in clean energy and infrastructure;
  • Upgrading 4 million buildings over four years to increase energy efficiency, weatherizing 2 million homes, and building 1.5 million “sustainable homes;”
  • Shifting major cities toward public transportation;
  • Creating 1 million new jobs in the auto industry, boosting electric vehicles, as well as millions more clean energy, agriculture, and conservation jobs;
  • Stopping offshore drilling in the Arctic;
  • Holding every major country accountable to their domestic climate targets;
  • Addressing environmental racism by pledging to allocate 40 percent of the clean energy plan’s investments toward minority and lower-income communities which are disproportionately hurt by climate change and pollution.

Biden has been the target of misinformation campaigns related to his position on fracking. To be clear, Biden plans to ban oil and gas drilling on public lands, but does not support a nationwide ban on all fracking.

Under Biden, increased solar panels, wind turbines, electric charging stations, energy-efficient buildings, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity protections will all help limit greenhouse gas pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change.

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Key Points of Trump’s Climate Plan

Since 2016, Trump and his administration have reversed over 100 environmental protections. Another term of President Trump would result in similar attacks on the environment. His main objectives are:

  • Expanding the country’s oil and gas industries;
  • Increasing exports of energy resources to the global market;
  • Approving more pipelines like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines;
  • Rolling back Democratic environmental regulations including clean air and clean water protections;

Trump’s climate plan is to ignore climate change and give large corporations the green light to drill, mine, and pollute. While he claims he wants “crystal clean water and air,” his record shows how he undermined efforts to protect waterways and limit dangerous air pollution.

Despite the scientific consensus on climate change, Trump has continued to deny and ignore climate science. He has publicly questioned the known role of climate change in driving more frequent and powerful weather events.

As millions of Americans continue to head to the polls, the fate of the environment is on the ballot. Four years of Biden compared to four years of Trump could determine whether communities have clean water or clean air.

As evidenced by their plans, Biden has an aggressive plan to curb the worsening effects of climate change while Trump plans to embolden polluters and lift even more environmental protections.

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