Joe Biden made another move forward in his attempt to secure the White House in 2020. The Democratic hopeful released his climate policy proposal early Tuesday, targeting net-zero emissions and 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050.
The “Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice” carries a price tag of $1.7 trillion for the federal government in its first 10 years. The former vice president’s campaign says will be paid by undoing the tax cuts enacted by President Trump and congressional Republicans.
Investments from state and local governments as well as private companies would push the total to $5 trillion.
“Science tells us that how we act or fail to act in the next 12 years will determine the very livability of our planet,” Biden said in a statement. “That’s why I’m calling for a Clean Energy Revolution to confront this crisis and do what America does best – solve big problems with big ideas.”
The platform from Biden leaves the question of an enforcement mechanism to Congress.
As president, Biden would also re-enter the Paris climate accord and “lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate target,” according to his campaign.
Regarding the international part of Biden’s plan, his administration would place “carbon adjustment fees” on carbon-intensive goods from countries that fail “to meet their climate and environmental obligations.”
The proposal also targets China’s coal exports, promising to build a bilateral framework that incentivizes Beijing to stop selling the polluting products.
The release of Biden plan comes weeks after he pushed back on pressure from progressives who said the former Delaware senator would not go far enough to address climate change.
Biden’s climate platform is similar in size and scope to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) but falls short of the only other fully fleshed-out climate change platform in the 2020 presidential race, from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D).
Biden has consistently polled as the front runner in the 2020 Democratic primary.