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Will a Climate Forum Allow a Productive Climate Change Debate?

CNN’s climate change presidential Town Hall even takes place on Wednesday, September 4th.  Whiel the event is not an official debate, it gives candidates a venue to solely discuss the issue of climate change.  The event will feature the ten candidates who have qualified for the third official debate. Of these ten, all but Joe Biden have advocated for a Green New Deal.

Many of the 2020 candidates have released climate change plans, however they vary widely in terms of content.  On the moderate side, Joe Biden has announced he plans to devote 1.7 trillion dollars to bring America to carbon neutrality by 2050.  Other candidates have adopted more ambitious goals, with Bernie Sanders advocating for a 16.3 trillion dollar Green New Deal which would help stimulate the economy by providing green collar jobs to the unemployed.

Some of the more unique ideas include Andrew Yang’s 4.87 trillion dollar plan to lower emissions and adopt “space mirrors” which would help reduce earth’s temperature.  He has also come out in support of nuclear energy as a viable energy source rather than as a temporary measure to transition into renewables.

A newly-mainstream issue in some candidates plans is environmental justice, or the idea that some people are more prone to the negative effects of environmental problems than others.  Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have both addressed this issue in their plans. Booker’s climate plan is called the “Environmental Justice Plan”, and aims to reduce the impact of climate change on disenfranchised communities and communities of color.

The idea of a Green New Deal will almost certainly be a major topic of discussion during the forum, and many of the candidates who support it have unveiled their own ideas for what it could entail.  Amy Klobuchar is a sponsor of a Green New Deal, and Julián Castro has included climate change in his housing plan by allocating 200 billion dollars to a green infrastructure fund.

CNN’s Forum will be a great place to learn about the candidates’ positions on climate change.  Make sure to read next week’s briefing on the forum.

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