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US election 2020: Elizabeth Warren has a bold new plan to tackle climate change

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Christobel Hastings
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Ahead of CNN’s climate change town hall event on Wednesday evening, the 2020 candidate and Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren has unveiled a bold new plan to save the planet. 

With devastating wildfires, strong floods, and powerful hurricanes making news headlines around the world, the reality of climate change is making its presence known like never before. And as the 2020 presidential race heats up, the American public is waiting to see how the next leader would respond the environmental emergency, and craft policies that would protect both the planet and the wellbeing of future generations.

This week, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren showed her commitment to tackling climate change as she unveiled an ambitious plan pledging $3 trillion in spending to combat global warming.

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Ahead of CNN’s 7-hour climate change town hall event on Wednesday evening, the 2020 candidate and Massachusetts Democrat vowed to invest $3 trillion under a 10-year plan to help the US transition to clean and renewable electricity, invigorate the economy with millions of new jobs, and protect workers in fossil fuel industries.

Based on the ideas of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a former 2020 candidate who built his campaign around fighting climate change, Warren’s proposal looks to target the heating planet in three main ways: by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, eliminating emissions from vehicles, and perfecting 100% renewable and zero-emission energy.

In the first instance, Warren details plans to replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with a Federal Renewable Energy Commission, which would require federal agencies to achieve 100% clean energy in their domestic power purchases by 2024 and retire coal-fired electricity within a decade.

Warren also lays out plans to eliminate emissions from fuel-inefficient cars, medium-duty trucks and buses by creating strict federal regulations on vehicle tailpipe emissions, as well as ensuring every federal interstate highway rest-stop features fast-charging stations.

Lastly, the Democratic hopeful details plans to achieve 100% zero-carbon pollution from new commercial and residential buildings by 2028, and encourage energy efficiency through tax credits.

To speed up the transition to emissions-free vehicles, buildings and electricity, Warren also announced an extra $1 trillion on Tuesday to be spread out across 10 years. The ambitious plans would be paid for by reversing Donald Trump’s tax reductions on wealthy Americans and large corporations enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Warren is definitely no novice when it comes to drawing up environmental policy. The presidential hopeful has already announced several bold schemes to combat climate change, including her Green Manufacturing plan, land use plan, green military plan and her Green Apollo clean energy research plan.

“If we work together to make smart investments in our clean energy future, we will grow our economy, improve our health, and reduce structural inequalities embedded in our existing fossil fuel system,” Warren wrote in a Medium post introducing the new policy. 

“The task before us is monumental, and it is urgent. But I’m confident that America has the tools, the know-how, and the will to make it happen. As president, I will take bold action to confront the climate crisis, starting on day one. The future of our planet depends on it, and we have no more time to waste.”

Tonight, top Democratic candidates in the 2020 field, including Senator Kamala Harris of California and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, will have the chance to introduce their respective climate change plans during CNN’s primetime forum. And with voter concern over the state of our warming planet at an all-time high, the time for environmental action can’t come a moment too soon.

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