A Healthy Climate Scorecard for 2020 Candidates

By Felix Kramer

By Felix Kramer

Will climate debate moderators ask ambitious questions? How will  we judge answers?

“Do you think it’s possible for the next president to stop climate change?” That’s the unprecedented and challenging question The New York Times asked all candidates in June. That question really translates to, “Can the next President begin to reverse global warming?” A few of  21 responders actually answered the question. See our rough “machine transcript”. We highlight those who talked about removing carbon dioxide, which is how to start reversing global warming!  And that started us thinking about Scorecards!

Climate Scorecards from350 Action, Climate Advisors, League of Conservation Voters, Greenpeace

Data For Progress GND scorecard

Current Presidential Climate Candidate Scorecards are less ambitious than the NY Times question:

 Scorecard from 350 Action • Change the Climate 2020 from the League of Conservation Voters • Climate2020 Scorecard from Greenpeace. These mostly focus on getting off fossil fuels and not accepting contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

•  Data for Progress is more comprehensive; carbon removal and sequestration in soil are among its 48 categories. • Democratic Candidates Climate Race from Climate Advisors • The NRDC Action Fund is updating  Where Do They Stand? for candidates.

Sunrise Movement members demonstrated for days at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Help us create a 2020 candidate Healthy Climate Scorecard

The scorecard starts with two questions: 1.Net-Zero: What year can we begin reversing global warming? (The specific version of the New York Times question.) That will enable the key followup question at a debate: Then what are your priorities?

That takes us to candidates’ answers to: 2. Can we actually restore our climate? Followup questions at a debate can include: Is your climate goal to stay under 2°C or 1.5°C, avoiding the worst consequences of climate change? Or do you consider yourself accountable to give future generations a safe and healthy climate?

Contact us to help create the scorecard! And go to Briefing Presidential Advisors Can Add Hope to the Climate Debate for the big picture.

We’re starting to crowdsource candidates’ responses at Healthy Climate Scorecard plus backup material. It’s a Google Doc with:

  1. Candidate Scorecard in development
  2. Backup quotes from candidates
  3. Statements from candidates at Debate 1 nights 1 & 2
  4. Transcript of candidates’ answers to NY Times climate question
  5. Which candidates support the Congressional Climate Emergency Resolution?
  6. Which candidates say climate change is a top priority?
  7. We got this far because of grassroots campaigns for a Climate Debate
  8. Media clips about the campaign for a climate debate

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