“Simply put, we’ll never achieve ambitious climate targets if we don’t reduce driving.”
So. What do the Democratic candidates say about climate – and how transportation is directly accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions in the U.S.? Not nearly enough. They focus on a few big things—electric vehicles, renewable energy, putting a price on carbon, and strengthening fuel efficiency standards, but it’s not nearly enough as long as there are so many vehicles on the roads. Both parties rely on “antiquated policy that undermines any action we take on climate change: spending billions to build new highways, encouraging more and more driving.”
Check out the Candidate list in the article below.
THE CANDIDATES’ CLIMATE PLANS & TRANSPORTATION
“We took an in-depth look at the climate plans from the top eight presidential candidates (according to RealClearPolitics polling data as of November 1, 2019) for the Democratic Party nomination. We’ve also included Jay Inslee in our analysis, despite the fact that he dropped out of the race, because his climate plan is widely considered to have set the standard for climate plans.
There are some candidates running for the Republican nomination for president, but none of them have released climate plans. The closest thing President Trump has to a climate plan is the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule which could actually increase pollution.”
Note: Investments, quantifiable targets, or policy proposals below are bolded; broad value statements or acknowledgements of an issue without a proposal to address it are not bolded.
Climate change has become a top issue for Americans, so how do the top Democratic candidates plan to reduce emissions? Here’s a brief look at what some of the presidential candidates are proposing when it comes to emissions from transportation.
|Polling||Candidate||Electrify vehicles||Reduce driving||Promote bikeable/walkable communities||Invest in transit||Support passenger rail|
|1||Biden||500,000 new public charging outlets by the end of 2030 and restore the full electric vehicle tax credit.||Altering local regulations to eliminate sprawl and allow for denser, more affordable housing near public transit would cut commute times for many of the country’s workers while decreasing their carbon footprint.||Communities across the country are experiencing a growing need for alternative and cleaner transportation options, including transit, dedicated bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfares, and first- and last-mile connections.||Ensure that America has the cleanest, safest, and fastest rail system in the world and will begin the construction of an end-to-end high speed rail system that will connect the coasts.|
|2||Warren||Zero emissions in all new light and medium duty vehicles by 2030.||Expand and improve public transit across our country.|
|3||Sanders||100 percent electric vehicles powered with renewable energy.||For too long, government policy has encouraged long car commutes, congestion, and dangerous emissions. Create more livable, connected, and vibrant communities.||$300 billion investment to increase public transit ridership by 65 percent by 2030.||$607 billion investment in a regional high-speed rail system.|
|4||Buttigeig||All new passenger vehicles sold be zero-emissions by 2035.||Switching from individual vehicles to public transportation not only reduces traffic congestion, but also reduces emissions while improving air quality.||$100 billion over 10 years, which will include installing bike and scooter lanes.||$100 billion over 10 years, which will include modernizing subways and other transit systems and deploying electric commuter buses and school buses.|
|5||Harris||100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035.||Incentivize people to reduce car usage and use public transit…focusing our transportation infrastructure investments toward projects that reduce vehicle miles traveled and address gaps in first mile, last mile service.||Funding robust public transportation networks to bring communities together.|
|6||Yang||Require all models from 2030 on to be zero-emission vehicles.||$200 billion grant program to states to electrify transit systems.|
|7||Gabbard||While Gabbard has not released a climate plan, she has introduced legislation in the U.S. House that would require all new vehicle sales to be 100% electric by 2035.|
|8||O’Rourke||Rapidly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles.||$1.2 trillion through grants and other investments, including: Transportation grants that cut commutes, crashes, and carbon pollution — all while boosting access to public transit.|
|—||Honorable Mention: Jay Inslee||Invest federal moneys and expand effective public policies linking community-based economic development to housing affordability and mobility.||Promote vibrant communities, more healthy and walkable neighborhoods, and both the preservation of existing affordable housing and construction of new affordable units.||Invest in expanding public transit and connecting people in communities through safe, multi-modal transportation options. More than double annual federal investment in public transit systems and incentivize expansion of transit networks.||Provide major new federal investment in electrifying passenger and freight rail throughout the country, and offering federal investment to states and regional partnerships to expand ultra-high-speed rail.|