Carol M. Browner: Highlights of the 2020 Democratic Platform and Biden-Harris Climate Plan

Aug 17, 2020

Courtnee Connon, 727-744-4163,

We must act now to tackle some of our nation’s most challenging issues, including the climate crisis and environmental injustice — which we know severely impacts the lives and health of people and our planet. 

Four years ago I had the honor of representing Hillary Clinton’s historic presidential campaign on the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Drafting Committee and now, I am proud to again serve as a member of the 2020 Platform Committee. With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s leadership and this incredibly strong Democratic platform, I know that we will begin to tackle the climate crisis. Our nation is truly at a crossroads and we need leadership and solutions to our biggest challenges that are rooted in equity and unity. We have no time to waste.

The 2020 Democratic Platform matches the ambition of the robust Biden-Harris climate plan and will set our nation on course for an equitable and just climate future. Here are some of the highlights, together:

  • We will build a thriving, equitable, and globally competitive clean energy economy that puts workers and communities first and leaves no one behind.
  • We will take immediate action to reverse the Trump Administration’s dangerous and destructive rollbacks of critical climate and environmental protections. 
  • We will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, and on day one, seek higher ambition from nations around the world, putting the United States back in the position of global leadership where we belong.
  • We will make investments to create millions of family-supporting and union jobs in clean energy generation, energy efficiency, clean transportation, advanced manufacturing, and sustainable agriculture across America.
  • To reach net-zero emissions as rapidly as possible, Democrats commit to eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035 through technology-neutral standards for clean energy and energy efficiency. 
  • We will dramatically expand solar and wind energy deployment through community-based and utility-scale systems, including in rural areas. 
  • Within five years, we will install 500 million solar panels, including eight million solar roofs and community solar energy systems, and 60,000 wind turbines, and turn American ingenuity into American jobs by leveraging federal policy to manufacture renewable energy solutions in America. 
  • We will set a bold, national goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for all new buildings by 2030, on the pathway to creating a 100 percent clean building sector. We will reduce harmful air pollution and protect our children’s health by transitioning the entire fleet of 500,000 school buses to American-made, zero-emission alternatives within five years. 

I have been fighting for the environment throughout my entire career. I’ve worked for both of our last two Democratic presidents to advance environmental policies that protect our health and planet — as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1993 to 2001 under President Clinton and as the director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy under President Obama. I’m immensely proud of what we accomplished over those years to achieve safeguards for clean air, safe drinking water and the health of our communities.

But, over the last three years, I’ve watched in horror as President Trump and his pro-polluter allies destroyed those protections. Big Polluter handouts, climate denial and environmental destruction have defined President Trump’s policy agenda. The Trump administration has repeatedly undermined protections and exposed communities across the country — especially communities of color and low-wealth communities — to dirtier air, more polluted water and, even worse, devastating climate impacts.

This simply cannot stand. That’s why as the Chair of LCV’s Board of Directors and a member of the Biden-Harris Climate Engagement Advisory Council, I know the stakes have never been higher and we must all do everything we can to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on November 3.