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Tom Steyer at #ClimateForum2020 Photo: Georgetown University via Twitter
As Climate Week drew to an end on Friday, Tom Steyer announced a detailed plan for restoring U.S. leadership on climate change globally if he were to be elected President, including a “Global Green New Deal Fund” of $200 billion over 10 years. Steyer said he will “prioritize strong working relationships with allies and potential allies to tackle the toughest challenge — climate change…increase support for enabling institutions for international cooperation and international assistance while pursuing ambitious multilateral and bilateral compacts with our allies,” and “prioritize planning and strategic investments to ensure that every branch of the U.S. military is ready for accelerating climate impacts to our bases, equipment, and personnel.”
Why This Matters: When it comes to climate change, the space that was formerly occupied by Jay Inslee as thought-leader among the Democrats on climate change is now increasingly occupied by Tom Steyer. His robust plans are detailed and well thought through. And his announcement of this latest plan as Climate Week ended is in contrast to the other leading candidates who were largely silent during a climate-focused week at the United Nations with all eyes on the young people who were making their case for action, and government and corporate leaders increasing their commitments. Where were the other Democrats? Steyer’s announcement was even more fortunate in that it coincided with the Speaker Pelosi’s decision to begin impeachment proceedings against the President, another issue on which Steyer has been incredibly outspoken for years.
What’s In Steyer’s New International Plan?
Highlights of his commitment include:
Pay up the $2 billion the U.S. promised to put into the Green Climate Fund and pledging at least $1 billion per year into the fund going forward
Double the size of the Peace Corps as a part of his New National Public Service Plan and including a climate justice training for all corps members.
Co-found a Standing Committee on the Climate Crisis at the G7 and the G20 to collaboratively address the risk of climate change to global financial stability.
Recognize environmental crimes against humanity under International Law and developing a process to hold states and multinational corporations accountable for extreme degradation acts against the global commons.
Within the Defense Department, make all non-combat military operations, facilities, and contracts carbon-neutral by 2030.
Instruct each branch of the U.S. military to develop a detailed climate resilience plan.
Expand the National Guard’s training and capabilities for disaster response and preparedness operations.
Revise Army Corps of Engineers flood control guidance to include holistic and forward-looking climate resiliency metrics for all projects and to prioritize nature-based solutions and green infrastructure.
Establish a Special Representative for the Arctic in the Department of Defense, responsible for improving U.S. preparedness in the Arctic linked to security issues arising due to climate change.
In His Own Words:
“From day one of my administration, I will center the climate crisis at the heart of my foreign policy. We have seen under President Trump how open hostility from the U.S. undercuts collaboration on the global stage and gives other nations additional excuse for inaction on climate change. On my first day in office, I will declare a climate emergency and begin to implement my Justice-Centered Climate Plan.”
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