On September 12, 2019 the leading Democratic presidential candidates came together in Houston for ABC News’ third Democratic debate. The ten candidates who participated in the debate are former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Entrepreneur Andrew Yang. The moderators were George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Linsey Davis and Jorge Ramos.
With the exception of Yang all the candidates addressed climate change during the debate. Here are the climate focused excerpts from the third Democratic debate arranged according to the three salient themes:
- Urgent of the climate crisis (Urgency)
- Return to multilateralism to address global warming (Multilateralism)
- Climate action plans (Action)
SANDERS: we will address the catastrophic crisis of climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel.
BIDEN: I refuse to postpone any longer taking on climate change and leading the world in taking on climate change…legislation that saves the planet. I will not wait for 60 votes to make that happen, and you can do it in a variety of ways. You can do that through budget reconciliation law. You have a vice president who will, in fact, tell the Senate what is appropriate and what is not, what is in order and what is not.
BUTTIGIEG: We saw it at the G7. The leaders of some of the greatest powers and economies of the world sitting to talk about one of the greatest challenges in the world, climate change, and there was literally an empty chair where American leadership could have been.
WARREN: We need to work on every front on climate change. It is the threat to every living thing on this planet and we are running out of time. Every time the scientists go back, they say, we have less and less time than we thought we had.
KLOBUCHAR: [Climate change] is the existential crisis of our time. It’s — you know that movie “The Day after Tomorrow”? It’s today.
HARRIS : We also need to partner with China on climate and the crisis that that presents.
BOOKER: From trade to battling China to the global crisis of climate change, the challenges in the Middle East, he [Trump] is pulling us away from our allies, out of the Iran deal, out of the Paris climate accords…We cannot go up against China alone. This is a president that has a better relationship with dictators, like Duterte and Putin, than he does with Merkel and Macron. We are the strongest nation on the planet Earth, and our strength is multiplied and magnified when we stand with our allies in common cause and common purpose. That’s how we beat China. That’s how we beat climate change on the planet Earth
SANDERS: I think that what we have got to do is bring this world together — bring it together on climate change, bring it together in fighting against terrorism. And make it clear that we as a planet, as a global community, will work together to help countries around the world rebuild their struggling economies and do everything that we can to rid the world of terrorism.
KLOBUCHAR: We have seen a warming in our world like never before. We’re seeing flooding in the Midwest, flooding in Houston, fires in the West. And I think having someone leading the ticket from the Midwest will allow us to talk about this in a different way and get it done. On day one, I will get us back into the international climate change agreement. On day two, I will bring back the clean power rules that President Obama had worked on. On day three, I will bring back the gas mileage standards. You can do all that without Congress, which is good. On day four, five, and six I will, working with Congress and mayors and business people all over the country, introduce sweeping legislation to get at that 2050 goal. And on day seven, you’re supposed to rest, but I won’t. This is what we need to do if we’re going to get at climate change. We have to take this on as a crisis that’s happening right now.
WARREN: But that means we’ve got to use all the tools [to combat climate change]. One of the tools we need to use are our regulatory tools. I have proposed following Governor Inslee, that we, by 2028, cut all carbon emissions from new buildings. By 2030, carbon emissions from cars. And by 2035, all carbon emissions from the manufacture of electricity. That alone, those three, will cut our emissions here in the United States by 70 percent. We can do this. We also need to help around the world to clean, but understand this one more time. Why doesn’t it happen? As long as Washington is paying more attention to money than it is to our future, we can’t make the changes we need to make. We have to attack the corruption head-on so that we can save our planet.
BOOKER: [D]ealing with environmental justice as a major pillar of any climate policy.
SANDERS: [W]e will address the catastrophic crisis of climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel.
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