With the Democratic debates are underway, the 2020 candidates have been eager to continue sharing their platforms with voters. Notably, Castro and O’Rourke squared off on immigration. Inslee discussed unions, creating jobs, and climate. Gabbard elaborated on her views on the LGBTQ+ community. John Delaney shared his view on Medicare for All and carbon pricing. But the first debate wouldn’t be complete without 3 candidates sharing what they believe to be the number one geopolitical threat: climate change.
These candidates were Senator Elizabeth Warren, Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and Senator Cory Booker. Now, this comes as no surprise.
Warren’s Climate Position
Though Elizabeth Warren hasn’t made climate a centerpiece of her platform, she does have one of the most elaborate climate policy proposals in the Democratic field. She proposed a $2 trillion plan aiming to achieve targets set by AOC’s Green New Deal and has been one of the most vocal candidates in terms of funding clean energy initiatives.
Where she differs from candidates like Inslee, though, is that she believes the government hasn’t advanced climate policy due to corruption. Though she didn’t discuss this idea at all in the first Democratic debate, Warren did make it clear that climate policy is an important piece of her platform.
When asked what she believed to be the number one geopolitical threat, she cited climate change.
O’Rourke’s Climate Position
Earlier this year, O’Rourke announced a $5 trillion plan to mitigate the ramifications of climate change. The plan was comprehensive, ranging from cutting pollution to re-entering the Paris Agreement, to defending communities impacted by severe weather conditions.
However extensive his plan, activists voiced their dissatisfaction with O’Rourke’s proposal. Varshini Prakash, the executive director of the Sunrise Movement, voiced that O’Rourke’s plan was “out of line with the timeline [the Green New Deal] lays out.”
Nonetheless, O’Rourke, like Warren, responded that climate change, to him, was the number one geopolitical threat.
Booker’s Climate Position
Senator Booker was an early adopter of AOC’s Green New Deal and one of 12 Senate co-sponsors of it. According to his campaign website, he hopes to have the United States re-join the Paris Agreement, implement the Green New Deal, among other initiatives.
Comparative to Warren and O’Rourke, Booker has been a lot less vocal about his climate position. Instead, he has chosen to focus on social issues, including immigration, guns, and more.
However, in the end, Booker still answered that, in his view, climate change is the number geopolitical threat to the United States.
Inslee’s Response to the Geopolitics Question
Naturally, viewers expected Inslee to answer “climate change” to this question as well. After all, climate policy is the centerpiece to his platform. Instead, he cited Trump to be the number one geopolitical threat to the United States.
As the Democratic debates continue, it will be interesting to see more discussion happen around the topic of climate change. Stay tuned for more coverage of the debates.