WASHINGTON – The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force released their policy recommendations for the Democratic platform yesterday. The recommendations are broad, covering energy, transportation, agriculture and land use, environmental justice and Indigenous sovereignty, and the COVID-crisis among its issue areas. The recommendations do not adequately address timelines and other implementation details that could mean the difference between groundbreaking climate policy and business-as-usual.
350 Action’s North America Director Tamara Toles O’Laughlin gave the following statement in response:
“The fingerprints of a growing, multiracial and multigenerational climate justice movement are all over this plan. We are cautiously optimistic that the fierce climate progressives appointed to this team, including Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sunrise Executive Director, Varshini Prakash, have fought to include policies in the pattern of the Green New Deal. Without the persistence of our movement, we wouldn’t see such a clear focus on environmental justice, or the inclusion of sharp policy tools like a climate test for all federally-approved or funded infrastructure, or timelines for decarbonization. This plan is evidence that we have shifted the climate debate on everyday issues of survival and justice.
However, the proposal doesn’t address ending new fossil fuel leases on public lands. We have concerns about the persistence of absurd technocratic solutions like a carbon capture and sequestration that extend the life and declining profit margins of the fossil fuel corporations. These types of false solutions are designed to shift the burden of climate recovery onto taxpayers and people suffering the consequences of climate impacts. The vision of the world where we vacuum carbon out of the sky is not compatible with the reality where we have every ability to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
As Biden solidifies his climate agenda, the campaign will have many recommendations to pull from. We urge him to choose climate policies that truly put our communities before corporate interests.”