Beto O’Rourke threw his hat into the presidential ring on March 14, 2019 and has worked to gain the support of America since. The former Texas congressman announced a plan to combat global warming should he win the 2020 presidential election.
The plan is meant to move the economy away from fossil fuels and slow the advance of climate change. The framework has four parts and is the most comprehensive climate change plan put forth by a 2020 candidate.
Within the proposal, O’Rourke claims that, “The greatest threat we face — which will test our country, our democracy, every single one of us — is climate change. We have one last chance to unleash the ingenuity and political will of hundreds of millions of Americans to meet this moment before it’s too late.”
To face the threat, O’Rourke and his team proposed a number of remedies to halt global warming. The main goal is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and get halfway there by 2030. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, and the primary ones in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. It will require a lot of regulation and work to reduce those emissions down to net-zero.
In order to accomplish this, they hope to reduce methane leakage from the oil and gas industry and phase out hydrofluorocarbons, which, if you don’t know, greatly contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
Another point in the plan is to strengthen hazardous waste limits of power plants and increase consumer saving through modernized building efficiency standards. There are many other important parts of the framework that would slow the advance of climate change, including protecting biodiversity and requiring federal permitting decision to account for climate costs and community impacts.
The part of the framework that has everyone talking is the cost. It will require $5 trillion for climate change innovation, infrastructure, people and communities. The framework claims that we will need to fully mobilize our democracy and economy. This amount will be funded by revenues generated by changes to new tax policy that will ensure corporations and the wealthiest will pay their share and end the billions of dollars of tax breaks given to fossil fuel companies.
The reactions regarding the announcement of the proposal range greatly. To many, the plan is coming at the perfect time and will help him in the election. Some claim it is not as ambitious or effective as the Green New Deal; however, others suggest that it is more realistic and helpful.
GND is a 10-year plan while O’Rourke’s is 30-year. This dismayed some, saying that he did not understand the science of climate change, referring to the IPCC report of devastating effects of climate change that will happen around 2030.
Greenpeace USA, an environment nonprofit organization, said, “Beto’s new climate platform is an important contribution to the national effort to boldly tackle the climate crisis.”
Climate change has never been a decisive issue for a presidential race, but it is now right up there with healthcare for major democratic issues. Reports suggest that O’Rourke is fairly behind in the race, so this proposal may aid in his campaign or it may do nothing to help rekindle the spark O’Rourke had in 2018.\
Source: Business Insider