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Senator Bernie Sanders is seeking to re-frame his Presidential campaign in Iowa on the issue of climate change with a huge ad buy there touting his support for the Green New Deal (see below) and a climate summit to be held this weekend with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez attending.Vox reports that Sanders’s Iowa State Director said, “[w]e think climate change is the way we win the caucuses….This is an issue that more and more Iowans can’t ignore.”
Why This Matters: Climate change has fallen out of the debate since the Our Daily Planet and MSNBC climate forum in mid-September. Sanders has consistently been in the top 3 candidates in Iowa so his focus on the climate issues will ensure that they are discussed again — and that is good news. But by staking his campaign on the issue of climate change, he is, in essence, putting climate on the ballot and that is a “gamble” that could prove dispositive for the issue if he does not do well in the caucuses.
“There is a chicken and egg situation. Either it doesn’t win because people aren’t talking about it or people aren’t talking about it because it doesn’t win. Our campaign looks at that and says, we seem to know thousands of Iowans whose houses were flooded, so we are going to talk about it.”
The climate gambit is a youth play for sure — as one can see from the line up of young people appearing at the summit. But the question is whether the Sanders campaign can get young people to turn out in numbers at the caucus. So according to Vox, the Sanders campaign will try to also focus on how addressing the climate crisis through a Green New Deal plan could boost the economy and create good new jobs.
Top Stories of 2019: This past February the announcement of the Green New Deal resolution sent reverberations throughout Capitol Hill as well as the nation. Suddenly, climate change became a major component of our political discourse.
Last week, as the UN Climate Meeting lurched and sputtered, the European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen of Germany, proposed the European “Green Deal” — a blueprint for how Europe will cut their carbon emissions in half by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, aiming to be a first-mover on creating climate-friendly industries and building clean technologies.
Why This Matters: Countries that seize the moment to transition to a fossil-fuel-free economy will win this century, and those that do not will be left behind.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) in what some called a “game-changer” announced at the end of last week that it will phase out funding for fossil fuel projects by the end of 2021, dealing a major blow to oil and gas companies. Instead, according to The Wall Street Journal, the bank will “use €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) for climate-change action and environmentally sustainable investment by 2030 and help the EU reach 32% renewable energy across the bloc by 2030.”