A Healthy Climate Scorecard for 2020 Candidates
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!
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.
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:
- Candidate Scorecard in development
- Backup quotes from candidates
- Statements from candidates at Debate 1 nights 1 & 2
- Transcript of candidates’ answers to NY Times climate question
- Which candidates support the Congressional Climate Emergency Resolution?
- Which candidates say climate change is a top priority?
- We got this far because of grassroots campaigns for a Climate Debate
- Media clips about the campaign for a climate debate