Democrats refuse to settle for moderate climate policy
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Democrats refuse to settle for moderate climate policy

Democrats refuse to settle for moderate climate policy

Data has shown that Democrats are starting to care more and more about climate policy in deciding who they vote for in 2020. And as politicians have, one by one, come out with climate plans, it’s clear that Democrats won’t settle for anything less than an aggressive proposal.

Though CNN polls revealed that 82% of young Democratic voters viewed climate change to be a “top priority,” INSIDER released numbers that reaffirmed this fact.

Democrats Prefer AOC’s Green New Deal Over Biden’s Climate Plan

An INSIDER poll showed only 14% of Democrats favored Biden’s plan, which aims to have the United States reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Compared to AOC’s Green New Deal, which hopes to achieve the same results by 2030, Biden’s plan, to Democrats, pales in comparison.

That is, some 42% of Democrats believe that the 2030 objective seems a lot more reasonable. After all, the United Nations estimates that there are only 11 years left before damages from climate change become irreversible. If these estimates are any indication, 2050 would be far too late.

Both AOC and Jay Inslee have criticized Biden’s climate plan. AOC doesn’t like Biden’s middle-ground approach, one prevents Biden from straying too far left or right on climate policy. Inslee, on the other hand, voiced that he was disappointed in Biden’s plan because it “lacked teeth … and ambition.”

Democrats Respond to Jay Inslee’s Plan

Jay Inslee
Inslee has the furthest-extending climate platform. But he’s not gaining traction (so far).

Though Jay Inslee polls at just 0.5%, trailing far behind Biden, Democrats have been, so far, been more receptive to his plan than Biden’s. However, from the looks of it, his plan doesn’t seem radical enough either.

Statistics drawn from the same INSIDER study show that only 23% of voters prefer Inslee’s plan, which you can read more about here. In summary, he hopes to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions grid by 2030. He projects that realistically, the United States will be able to reach zero-emissions by 2045 under his plan.

By every measure, Inslee’s reach is still small. As the DNC recently rejected the idea of having a climate-specific debate, Inslee will not have that opportunity. But hope is not all lost, as his opponents in the Democratic field have largely sided with him.

How are Democrats reacting to Elizabeth Warren?

Elizabeth Warren tackles corruption as a segue to passing climate policy.
Elizabeth Warren tackles corruption as a segue to passing climate policy.

Elizabeth Warren, like AOC, Inslee, O’Rourke, and others has also put out multiple proposals to deal with climate change. But unlike Inslee, Warren hasn’t made climate her central platform. She believes corruption is what slows the United States in passing climate policy.

She does still have proposals that deal with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which have earned her a B+ rating by Greenpeace when the organization graded all presidential candidates on climate policy.

It’s unclear whether Democrats will bite onto the idea that corruption and lobbying should be a greater focus than the issue of climate change itself. Elizabeth Warren thinks so.


As polls continue to reveal how Democrats really see candidates’ climate policy, 2020 candidates will need to adapt to match voter appeal. Clearly, Democrats won’t settle for moderate climate policy this time around.

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