TABLE OF CONTENTS
Because the next President will determine whether we continue to make progress or slide backward in the fight against the climate crisis, the League of Conservation Voters urges every presidential candidate to be explicit about their plans to combat the greatest challenge of our time. The next President must create real and lasting solutions that cut carbon pollution while creating a clean energy future that continues to improve the economy and creates jobs. As they hit the campaign, the two presidential candidates have an opportunity to demonstrate exactly how they would do that.
Below is a selection of quotes and coverage of how the candidates from both parties have spoken about the science of climate change, and their plans, if any, for tackling this historic challenge.
Donald Trump Denied That He Thinks “Climate Change Is A Hoax Perpetrated By The Chinese.” During the first presidential debate in September 2016, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had the following exchange:
CLINTON: They’ve looked at my plans and they’ve said, OK, if we can do this, and I intend to get it done, we will have 10 million more new jobs, because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean- energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.
TRUMP: I did not. I did not. I do not say that.
CLINTON: I think science is real.
TRUMP: I do not say that.
[Washington Post, 9/26/16]
Trump: “I’m Not A Big Believer In Manmade Climate Change … We’ll See What Happens.” During an August 2016 interview, Trump said, “I’m not a big believer in manmade climate change. There could be some impact, but I don’t believe it’s a devastating impact … I would say that it goes up, it goes down, and I think it’s very much like this over the years. We’ll see what happens. I mean, we’ll see what happens. Maybe you and I – even you, as young as you are – you won’t be around to see. But certainly, climate has changed. You know, they used to call it global warming. They’ve had many different – they call it extreme weather. They always change the name to encapsulate everything. The problem we have is our businesses are suffering. Our businesses are unable to compete in this country because other countries aren’t being forced to do what our businesses are being forced to do and it makes us noncompetitive, which is something that I feel very strongly about. And I feel that it puts at a great economic disadvantage for jobs and other things.” [Miami Herald, 8/11/16]
Trump: If Local Governments Want To Invest In Raising Roads Due To Rising Sea Levels, “They Should Do It … That’s Probably Not The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Heard.” During an August 2016 interview, Miami Herald reported Patricia Mazzei asked Trump for his thoughts on the local government in Miami spending “millions of dollars to lift the roads and the sidewalks to raise them” due to rising sea levels.” Trump responded, “I think local government, if they feel that way, they should do it. I mean, if the local government feels that way, they should do it. If they’re doing the roads and if they want to make them higher, I think that’s probably not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, if you’re going to do them anyway.” [Miami Herald, 8/11/16]
Trump: In the 1920s, We Had Global Cooling; “Now They Think The Planet Is Getting Warmer … Nobody Knows For Sure. Nobody Knows For Sure.” During an August 2016 interview, Trump said, “You have a change in weather patterns and you’ve had it for many years. You know, many years ago, I believe it was in the 1920s, they talked about the phenomena of global cooling. They thought the planet was getting cooler. Now they think the planet is getting warmer and I have a feeling it’s sort of this … *makes hand gestures mimicking waves* But nobody knows for sure. Nobody knows for sure. But I do say this. We have to be careful because our companies are being put at a tremendous disadvantage in terms of the world markets.” [Miami Herald, 8/11/16]
Trump: Paris Climate Agreement “Gives Foreign Bureaucrats Control Over How Much Energy We Use Right Here In America.” In a May 2016 speech to the North Dakota Petroleum Council, Trump said, “President Obama entered the United States into the Paris Climate Accords – unilaterally, and without the permission of Congress. This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use right here in America. These actions have denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet.” [Donald Trump speech, 5/26/16]
Trump Would “Cancel The Paris Climate Agreement,” And “Inaccurately” Stated That Foreign Nations Would Have Control Over How America Uses Energy. In a May 2016 speech to the North Dakota Petroleum Council, Trump said that in his first 100 days in office, he would “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.” The New York Times reported, “In his speech, he complained, inaccurately: ‘This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use on our land, in our country. No way.’ In fact, at the heart of the Paris Agreement are voluntary pledges put forward by the governments of over 190 nations, laying out plans to lower emissions. No government has control over the emissions-reduction plans of other governments. [Donald Trump Press Release, 5/26/16; New York Times, 5/27/16]
Trump Submitted A Plan To Build A Wall On His Golf Course To Prevent Additional Erosion From Climate Change. According to an article from Politico, “After failing to win special approval from the national government for the structure, Trump re-submitted a planning application with the Clare County Council seeking permission to build the wall, which would consist of 200,000 tons of rock distributed along two miles of beach. As part of the application, Trump International Golf Links submitted an environmental impact statement — prepared by an Irish environmental consultancy — which argues that erosion is likely to accelerate as sea levels rise more quickly. The statement acknowledges one Irish government study that assumes a steady rate of erosion through 2050, but argues that the study fails to account for the effects of climate change: ‘If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct, however, it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland. In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring. … As a result, we would expect the rate of dune recession to increase.’” [Politico; 5/23/16]
Trump Was “Not A Big Fan” Of The Paris Climate Accord, And Would Renegotiate “At A Minimum.” In a May 2016 interview with Reuters, Trump “said he is ‘not a big fan’ of the Paris climate accord, which prescribes reductions in carbon emissions by more than 170 countries. He said he would want to renegotiate the deal because it treats the United States unfairly and gives favorable treatment to countries like China. ‘I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,’ he said. A renegotiation of the pact would be a major setback for what was hailed as the first truly global climate accord, committing both rich and poor nations to reining in the rise in greenhouse gas emissions blamed for warming the planet.” [Reuters, 5/18/16]
Trump: Global Warming “Of The Nuclear Variety” Is “The One We Have To Be Careful Of.” During a May 2016 campaign stop in Terre Haute, Indiana, Trump said, “We have Obama – you know, global warming, to him, is the single biggest problem in our country, if you can believe that one. I believe global warming is the single biggest problem in our country, but it’s made of the nuclear variety. That’s the one we have to be careful of. We better be damn, damn tough, and damn careful, because nuclear is your problem with global warming. We have a president that talks about global warming and he doesn’t talk about all these other problems.” [American Bridge, 160501_PH_871_A (12:30), 5/1/16 (video available from American Bridge)]
Trump: “Our Military Is Depleted, And We’re Asking Our Generals And Military Leaders To Worry About Global Warming.” During An April 2016 foreign policy speech, Trump said, “Our military is depleted, and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming. We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned.” [Trump Campaign Website, 4/27/16]
Trump: “The Only Global Warming I’m Worried About Is Nuclear Global Warming.” During a May 2016 Republican presidential town hall, Donald Trump said, “When I hear Obama get up and say the biggest threat to the world today is global warming, I say, is this guy kidding? The only global warming – the only global warming I’m worried about is nuclear global warming because that’s the single biggest threat. So it’s not that I’m a fan – we can’t afford it anymore. We’re sitting on a tremendous bubble. We’re going to be – again, $21 trillion. We don’t have money.” [CNN, 3/29/16]
Trump: “I Am Not A Great Believer In Man-Made Climate Change … I Think Our Biggest Form Of Climate Change We Should Worry About Is Nuclear Weapons.” On March 21, 2016, Donald Trump met with the editorial board of the Washington Post. During the meeting, he had the following exchange with Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt and editorial writer Stephen Stromberg:
HIATT: You think climate change is a real thing? Is there human-caused climate change?
TRUMP: I think there’s a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I’m not a great believer. There is certainly a change in weather that goes – if you look, they had global cooling in the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don’t know if they have global warming. They call it all sorts of different things; now they’re using “extreme weather” I guess more than any other phrase. I am not – I know it hurts me with this room, and I know it’s probably a killer with this room – but I am not a believer. Perhaps there’s a minor effect, but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.
STROMBERG: Don’t good businessmen hedge against risks, not ignore them?
TRUMP: Well I just think we have much bigger risks. I mean I think we have militarily tremendous risks. I think we’re in tremendous peril. I think our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons. The biggest risk to the world, to me – I know President Obama thought it was climate change – to me the biggest risk is nuclear weapons. That’s – that is climate change. That is a disaster, and we don’t even know where the nuclear weapons are right now. We don’t know who has them. We don’t know who’s trying to get them. The biggest risk for this world and this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons.
[Washington Post, 3/21/16]
Trump: Climate Change Is A Hoax, And A “Money-Making Industry.” During a December 30, 2015 campaign rally in Hilton Head, SC, Trump said, “So Obama is talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it is a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money making industry, okay? It’s a hoax.” [News Universe, 12/30/15 (35:18)]
Trump: “It’s Really Cold Outside … We Could Use A Big Fat Dose Of Global Warming!” On October 19, 2015, Trump tweeted, “It’s really cold outside, they are calling it a major freeze, weeks ahead of normal. Man, we could use a big fat dose of global warming!” [Donald Trump Twitter, 10/19/15]
Donald Trump Declared, “You Can’t Get Hurt By Extreme Weather,” Then Tweeted His Support For The More Than 12 People Killed By Flooding In South Carolina. “Donald Trump sent out prayers to those affected by the deadly flooding in South Carolina on Monday, just weeks after telling voters people aren’t hurt from extreme weather. As of Monday night, there have been a total of 13 storm related deaths in South Carolina and North Carolina combined. ‘Thoughts and prayers for those in the floods affecting the great people of South Carolina,’ Trump tweeted Monday in the wake of the floods. But two weeks ago in Dallas, Trump told supporters ‘you can’t get hurt with extreme weather,’ as he dismissed President Barack Obama’s argument that extreme weather as a result of climate change poses a threat to America.” [CNN, 10/5/15]
Wall Street Journal Headline: “Donald Trump: I Don’t Believe In Climate Change.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/24/15]
Asked Whether He Agreed With Pope Francis’s Call To Act On Climate Change, Trump Said No; “I Am Not A Believer In Climate Change.” In September 2015, Politico reported, “Donald Trump is at odds with Pope Francis when it comes to climate change. In his White House address … the pope called climate change ‘a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.’ Asked whether he agreed with that on CNN’s ‘New Day,’ Trump said no. ‘I think that clean air is a pressing problem. You want to have clean air, clean water. That’s very important to me, and I’ve won many environmental awards. I am not a believer in climate change,’ Trump said.” [Politico, 9/24/15]
Trump Said He Would “Actually Talk” With Pope Francis And “See If He’s Serious” About Climate Change. In September 2015, CNN reported, “If Donald Trump found himself in a private meeting with the Pope … the Republican businessman would want to talk climate change. ‘He seems to be getting extremely political,’ Trump said of Pope Francis, who will visit the United States for a historic trip … and has made addressing global warming one of his pet issues. ‘I would actually talk to him about it to see if he’s serious.’ Trump, who is skeptical of the idea that humans are causing climate change, told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren that he disagreed with the Pope and would look to gauge why he might be speaking out about it.” [CNN, 9/21/15]
Trump Surveyed Rally Participants, Asking If Anyone Believed In Climate Change; “Wow, Not Much, Huh? Nobody?” During a September 2015 campaign rally, a League of Conservation Voters member asked Trump, “I’m here to ask you what your plan is to reduce pollution that is driving climate change and endangering public health.” Trump, in turn, asked the audience, “Let me ask you a question, how many people here believe in global warming? Who believes in global warming? Who believes in global warming, raise your hand? Wow. Not much, huh? Nobody? One person? Huh.” [Huffington Post, 9/18/15; LCV, 9/18/15]
Trump: Climate Change Is “Not A Big Problem At All … It’s A Big Planet.” In a September 2015 interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, following the second GOP presidential debate, Trump said, “I consider climate change to be not one of our big problems. I consider it to be not a big problem at all. I think it’s weather. I think it’s weather changes. It could be some man-made something. But, you know, you look at China, they’re doing nothing about it. Other countries are doing nothing about it. It’s a big planet.” [MSNBC Morning Joe, 9/17/15]
Trump: “I’m Not A Huge Believer In The Global Warming Phenomenon”; Manmade Contribution To Climate Change Is “Not Nearly To The Extent” That President Obama Says It Is. During a June 2015 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trump said, “I’m not a huge believer in the global warming phenomenon … There could be some manmade too, I mean, I’m not saying there’s zero, but not nearly to the extent — when Obama gets up and said it’s the number one problem of our country, and if it is, why is it that we have to clean up our factories now when China doesn’t have to do it for another 30 to 35 years?” [CNN, 6/28/15]
Trump: “I’m Not A Believer” In Manmade Climate Change; “This Planet Is So Massive.” In a June 2015 Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, Trump said, “I’m not a believer in manmade — look, this planet is so massive. And when I hear Obama saying that climate change is the number one problem it is just madness. And by the way it started this global cooling, I mean we went through global warming.” [Fox News, 6/17/15]
Trump: If There Are Low Temperatures And Snow, “Where The Hell Is Global Warming?” In February 2015, Trump tweeted, “Record low temperatures and massive amounts of snow. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING?” [Donald Trump Twitter, 2/14/15]
Trump: Global Warming “Hoaxters” Are Using “Any And All Weather Events … To Justify Higher Taxes.” In January 2014, Trump tweeted, “Any and all weather events are used by the GLOBAL WARMING HOAXSTERS to justify higher taxes to save our planet! They don’t believe it $$$$!” [Donald Trump Twitter, 1/26/14]
Trump: Global Warming Is A Hoax. In January 2014, Trump tweeted, “NBC News just called it the great freeze – coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?” [Donald Trump Twitter, 1/25/14]
Trump Referred To Climate Change As “Bullshit,” Adding, “Our Planet Is Freezing, Record Low Temps, And Our [Global Warming] Scientists Are Stuck In Ice.” In January 2014, Trump tweeted, “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.” [Donald Trump Twitter, 1/1/14]
Trump: “Concept Of Global Warming Was Created By And For The Chinese” To Make U.S. Less Competitive. In November 2012, Trump tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” [Donald Trump Twitter, 11/6/12]
Sec. Clinton: Donald Trump “Climate Change Is A Hoax Perpetrated By The Chinese. I Think It’s Real.” During the first presidential debate in September 2016, Sec. Clinton said, “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real. And I think it’s important that we grip this and deal with it, both at home and abroad.” [Washington Post, 9/26/16]
Sec. Clinton: Climate Change Is Real, And “The Science Is Clear … It’s Wreaking Havoc On Communities Across America.” During a September 2016 campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, Sec. Clinton said, “Another threat to our country is climate change. 2015 was the hottest year on record, and the science is clear. It’s real. It’s wreaking havoc on communities across America.” [CSPAN (41:40), 9/6/16]
Sec. Clinton: Extreme Weather Threatens Our Infrastructure, And In Turn, Our National Security. During a September 2016 campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, Sec. Clinton said talked about Hurricane Hermine, saying, “Last week’s hurricane was another reminder of the devastation that extreme weather can cause … But this is not the last one that’s going to hit Florida, given what’s happening in the climate. Nobody knows that better than folks right here in Tampa, and in the broader region. Sea levels have been rising here about an inch per decade since the 1950s. At the rate we are going, by 2030 – which is not that far away – $70 billion of coastal property in this state will be flooding at high tide. And whenever our infrastructure is threatened, so, too, is our homeland security. The next president will have to work with communities like Tampa to prepare for future storms.” [CSPAN (41:40), 9/6/16]
Sec. Clinton: As President, I Will Invest In Infrastructure To “Protect Regions From Flooding And Other Effects Of Climate Change … But We’re Going To Have To Begin Working Immediately.” During a September 2016 campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, Sec. Clinton said, “When I’m in the Oval Office, I’m going to work with local leaders to make smart investments in infrastructure to help protect regions from flooding and other effects of climate change. I’m going to continue to work on the international and national level to try to turn the clock back, to stabilize and reduce emissions even more, to try to gain more time. But we’re going to have to begin working immediately on mitigation and resilience and prevention as well.” [CSPAN (41:40), 9/6/16]
Sec. Clinton: “When It Comes To Protecting Our Country Against Natural Disasters And The Threat Of Climate Change … Donald Trump Is Totally Unfit And Unqualified To Be Our President.” During a September 2016 campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, Sec. Clinton said, “What about Donald Trump? Well, he doesn’t even believe in climate change. He says it’s a hoax invented by the Chinese, and he says “you can’t get hurt with extreme weather.” Now this is the same guy who, at one of his golf courses in some coastal place, has demanded that a seawall be built to protect his golf course from rising tides. So it’s all fine if it affects Donald, but if it affects the rest of humanity, he couldn’t care less. If it affects people who lose their homes or their businesses that took a lifetime to build, it doesn’t matter to him. When it comes to protecting our country against natural disasters and the threat of climate change, once again, Donald Trump is totally unfit and unqualified to be our president.” [CSPAN (41:40), 9/6/16]
Sec. Clinton: “I Believe In Science. I Believe That Climate Change Is Real.” During her July 2016 speech accepting the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, Sec. Clinton said, “I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/28/16]
Sec. Clinton: “I’m Proud We Shaped A Global Climate Agreement.” During her July 2016 speech accepting the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, Sec. Clinton said, “I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/28/16]
Sec. Clinton: “Climate Change Is Real. It Is Here. It Has To Be Dealt With.” During a June 2016 town hall, Sec. Clinton said, “I really am tired of the debate, which is a phony debate. Climate change is real. It is here. It has to be dealt with. If I hear another politician or public official say they don’t know to say because they’re not a scientist, I’m just going to yell because – go talk to a scientist! Go listen to a scientist. Go learn about what is actually happening to our climate.” [Hillary Clinton YouTube Channel, 6/28/16]
Sec. Clinton: America Should Be 21st Century Clean Energy Superpower, And Must Stop Denying Climate Change. In June 2016, Sec. Clinton delivered a speech in Brooklyn, NY, after becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee. During her speech, she said, “We believe we fled to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century not insist that climate change is a hoax.” [Vox, 6/8/16]
Sec. Clinton: When Donald Trump Dismisses Climate Science, “Has He Ever Talked To A Scientist?” In a May 2016 interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, Sec. Clinton said of Donald Trump, “When he says climate change is a Chinese hoax, what does that mean? Has he ever talked to a scientist, or is he just again assuming a slogan?” [CBS News, 5/8/16]
Sec. Clinton: “Climate Change Is An Urgent Threat” Which “Requires An Aggressive Response” To “Make America The Clean Energy Superpower Of The 21st Century.” During an April 2016 primary victory speech, Sec. Clinton said, “We Democrats agree that climate change is an urgent threat. And it requires an aggressive response that can make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.” [Philly Voice, 4/27/16]
Sec. Clinton: Climate Change Poses “Extraordinary Threats … To Our Country And Our World.” During an April 14, 2016 Democratic primary debate in Brooklyn, NY, Sec. Clinton said, “We need to talk about this issue and we should talk about it in terms of the extraordinary threats that climate change pose to our country and our world. And that’s why for the last many years, both in the Senate and as secretary of State, it’s been a big part of my commitment to see what could be done. But there has never been any doubt that when I was a senator, I tried — I joined with others to try to get rid of the subsidies for big oil. And I have proposed that again, because that’s what I think needs to be done as we transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.” [Washington Post, 4/14/16]
Since Becoming Sec. Of State In 2009, Sec. Clinton Worked To Secure Global Commitments – Especially From Large Polluters Like India & China –To Reduce Emissions; Paris Climate Accord Shows The Impact Of Her Work. During an April 14, 2016 Democratic primary debate in Brooklyn, NY, Sec. Clinton said, “Let’s talk about the global environmental crisis. Starting in 2009 as your Secretary of State, I worked with President Obama to bring China and India to the table for the very first time, to get a commitment out of them that they would begin to address their own greenhouse gas emissions. I continued to work on that throughout the four years as Secretary of State, and I was very proud that President Obama and America led the way to the agreement that was finally reached in Paris with 195 nations committing to take steps to actually make a difference in climate change.” [Washington Post, 4/14/16]
Sec. Clinton: Climate Change Is “Clearly Man-Made And Man-Aggravated.” During a March 9, 2016 Democratic primary debate in Miami, Sec. Clinton said, “You can see already what’s happening in Miami, particularly in Miami Beach with tides rising. So we do have to invest in resilience and mitigation while we are trying to cut emissions and make up for the fact that this is clearly man-made and man-aggravated.” [Washington Post, 3/9/16]
Sec. Clinton: “We Can’t Afford A President Who Ignores The Science” On Climate Change. On January 20, 2016, Sec. Clinton tweeted, “Climate change is real. It’s hurting our planet and our people. We can’t afford a president who ignores the science.” [@HillaryClinton Twitter, 1/20/16]
Sec. Clinton: “Climate Change Isn’t Some Abstract Future Threat – It Threatens Our Families And Economy Right Now.” In January 2016, the NOAA released a report stating that 2015 was the second-warmest year on record, for the contiguous United States. In response, Sec. Clinton stated, “Climate change isn’t some abstract future threat—it threatens our families and economy right now. We need to act.” [@NOAA Twitter, 1/7/16; @HillaryClinton Twitter, 1/7/16]
Sec. Clinton: “Ambitious” Paris Climate Agreement Was A “Testament To America’s Ability To Lead The World In Building A Clean Energy Future Where No One Is Left Out Or Left Behind.” On December 12, 2015, “nearly 200 countries cemented a major international accord to fight global warming … capping years of fractious negotiations that dragged on even as evidence of the dangers of runaway greenhouse-gas pollution mounted … The breakthrough tethers non-binding national pledges to limit carbon-dioxide emissions with more formal agreements that enable monitoring and verification of countries’ actions to ensure trust. Nations will also submit new plans every five years, a key provision that acknowledges that existing national pledges are nowhere near tough enough to prevent highly dangerous levels of global warming. The accord sets a goal of a global peak in greenhouse-gas emissions ‘as soon as possible’ and holding the rise in global temperatures to ‘well below’ 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, a benchmark for avoiding many of most dangerous consequences of climate change.” Responding to the agreement, Sec. Clinton said, “I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change. The Paris agreement is testament to America’s ability to lead the world in building a clean energy future where no one is left out or left behind. And it was made possible in part by every person, business owner, and community in the United States and around the world that stepped up to prove we don’t have to choose between growing our economy and protecting our kids’ health and future—we can do both.” [National Journal, 12/12/15; Hillary Clinton Press Release, 12/12/15]
Sec. Clinton: “Climate Change Is Already Taking A Toll On The Nation’s Infrastructure – Leaving Taxpayers To Pick Up The Tab.” On November 30, 2015, Sec. Clinton unveiled her infrastructure plan. The plan, in part, read, “From rising sea levels to more severe storms, heat waves, and wildfires, climate change is already taking a toll on the nation’s infrastructure—leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab. Already, vulnerable communities are being disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change and the lack of resources to adapt. Clinton will work to ensure that federal infrastructure investments are resilient to both current and future climate risks, and she will partner with states, cities and rural communities to develop regionally coordinated, resilient infrastructure strategies.” [Hillary Clinton Campaign Website, 11/30/15]
Sec. Clinton: “In Addition To Defending” The Clean Power Plan, “We Need A Clear Economic Program That Goes Hand-In-Hand With Combatting Climate Change.” On November 9, 2015, Sec. Clinton received an endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters. During her remarks, she said, “I have been very clear that combatting climate change is not only the right thing to do, in order to preserve our planet [and] to deal with the threats that it poses, but it can be a very smart economic approach as well. Why? In addition to defending President Obama’s historic gains that he’s made, starting with the Clean Power Plan, but others as well, we need a clear economic program that goes hand-in-hand with combatting climate change … Building on the Clean Power Plan, I will launch a clean energy challenge to partner with states, cities, and rural America to accelerate clean energy deployment, building efficiency, and clean transportation.” [PSB Satellite YouTube Channel, 11/9/15]
Sec. Clinton: Having Republicans Like Ted Cruz “Who Say Climate Change Is Not Science … Can Be Pretty Dispiriting, But It Can Also Be Galvanizing.” On November 9, 2015, Sec. Clinton filed her candidacy for president with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. In talking with the media during the filing process, Sec. Clinton said, “In 2008, the Republican Party platform had a long section about climate change. And now we have candidates like Ted Cruz who say climate change is not science. That can be pretty dispiriting, but it can also be galvanizing.” [New York Times, 11/9/15]
Sec. Clinton: Unclear Whether GOP Candidates’ Denial Of Climate Change Is Political Or True Belief, But It’s “Hurting Our Country.” On November 5, 2015, Sec. Clinton appeared on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. During the interview, she had the following exchange with the show’s host, Jimmy Kimmel:
KIMMEL: I find it interesting that the vast majority of the [Republican] candidates, and people who are Republicans, believe that man-made climate change is a myth, or some sort of conspiracy designed to hurt our economy. Do you think that most people genuinely believe that, or are they towing the party line?
SEC. CLINTON: “I think it’s both, Jimmy. I think some people do believe it. When you hear them say, as they often, do, “I’m not a scientist,” my response that that is, “Go talk to one, and maybe you could get some information that would enlighten you or educate you about the problems that climate change is confronting us with,” because it IS an existential crisis. I think some [candidates] are doing it because they have strong supporters, people who are maybe from the fossil fuel industry, for example, and they don’t want to cross them. So, they adopt that position, and whether they really believe it, or it’s just political opportunism, I can’t tell. But, the fact is, it’s hurting our country, and what I don’t understand is, there are huge economic opportunities here. If we were the clean energy superpower of the 21st century, we would create millions of new good jobs and businesses, and we would transition away from fossil fuels, and help the climate at the same time.
Sec. Clinton: “Significant” Bilateral Agreement Between United States And China Needs To Go Further; At Paris Talks, “We Must Get Verifiable Commitments To Fight Climate Change From Every Country There.” During the October 13, 2015 Democratic primary debate, Sec. Clinton said, “When we met in Copenhagen in 2009 … President Obama and I were hunting for the Chinese, going throughout this huge convention center because we knew we had to get them to agree to something, because there will be no effective efforts against climate change unless China and India join with the rest of the world. They told us they’d left for the airport. We found out they were having a secret meeting. We marched up, we broke in and said we’ve been looking all over for you, let’s sit down and talk about what we need to do and we did come up with the first international agreement that China has signed. Thanks to President Obama’s leadership, it has gone much further. I do think that the bilateral agreement President Obama made with the Chinese was significant. It needs to go further, and there will be an international meeting at the end of this year, and we must get verifiable commitments to fight climate change from every country there … I have been on the forefront of dealing with climate change starting in 2009 when President Obama and I crashed a meeting with the Chinese and got them to sign up to the first international agreement to combat climate change that they’d ever joined. So, I’m not taking a back seat to anybody on my values, my principles and the results that I get.” [CNN Debate, 10/13/15]
Sec. Clinton Op-Ed: “Pope Francis Is Right … We Must Lead The Charge” To Act On Climate Change. In a September 2015 National Catholic Recorder op-ed, Sec. Clinton wrote, “Pope Francis is right. All countries and all people are responsible for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. But countries like the United States have a particular role. We are rich, powerful, and blessed with many advantages. We must lead the charge.” [Hillary Clinton op-ed, National Catholic Reporter, 9/25/15]
Sec. Clinton Thanked Pope Francis For His Call To “Protect Our Environment.” In September 2015, Sec. Clinton tweeted, “Gracias, @Pontifex. Tenemos que cuidar el medio ambiente, crear oportunidades económicas y defender los derechos y la dignidad de todos.” Translated, the statement reads, “Thank you, @Pontifex. We need to protect our environment, create economic opportunities and defend the rights and the dignity of all.” [HillaryClinton Twitter, 9/24/15]
Sec. Clinton: “Hard To Believe” Some Presidential Candidates Don’t Accept “Settled Science Of Climate Change.” In a July 2015 campaign video Sec. Clinton said, “It’s hard to believe there are people running for president who still refuse to accept the settled science of climate change, who would rather remind us they’re not a scientist than listen to those who are. You don’t have to be a scientist to take on the urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act.” [Hillary Clinton YouTube Channel, 7/26/15]
Sec. Clinton: Pope Is Right, “Climate Change Is A Moral Crisis That Disproportionately Harms The Neediest Among Us.” In response to the Pope’s encyclical on the moral responsibility to combat climate change, Sec. Clinton tweeted: “@Pontifex is right—climate change is a moral crisis that disproportionately harms the neediest among us. We need leadership, not denial.” [Twitter, 6/15/15]
Sec. Clinton: Candidates Who Defer Questions About Climate Change Saying “I’m Not A Scientist” Should “Start Listening To Those Who Are.” During a June 2015 campaign speech, Sec. Clinton said, “Ask many of these candidates about climate change, one of the defining threats of our time, and they’ll say: ‘I’m not a scientist.’ Well, then, why don’t they start listening to those who are?” [C-SPAN, 6/13/15]
Sec. Clinton: America Can Lead The “Global Fight Against Climate Change” And Become The “Clean Energy Superpower Of The 21st Century.” During a June 2015 campaign speech, Sec. Clinton said, “We will make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Developing renewable power – wind, solar, advanced biofuels; building cleaner power plants, smarter electric grids, greener buildings; using additional fees and royalties from fossil fuel extraction to protect the environment; and ease the transition for distressed communities to a more diverse and sustainable economic future from coal country to Indian country, from small towns in the Mississippi Delta to the Rio Grande Valley to our inner cities, we have to help our fellow Americans. Now, this will create millions of jobs and countless new businesses, and enable America to lead the global fight against climate change.” [C-SPAN, 6/13/15]
Sec. Clinton: “The Science Of Climate Change Is Unforgiving, No Matter What The Deniers May Say.” In a December 2014 speech at the League of Conservation Voters Annual New York Dinner, Sec. Clinton said, “The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say. Sea levels are rising; ice caps are melting; storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc. … If we act decisively now we can still head off the most catastrophic consequences … The political challenges are also unforgiving, there is no getting around the fact the kind of ambitious response required to effectively combat climate change is going to be a tough sell at home and around the world at a time when so many countries including our own are grappling with slow growth and stretched budgets.” [LCV YouTube, 12/3/14; The Hill, 12/2/14]
Sec. Clinton: Climate Change Was “The Most Consequential, Urgent, Sweeping Collection Of Challenges We Face As A Nation And A World.” In September 2014, at Sen. Harry Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit, Sec. Clinton called climate change “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.” [Politico, 9/4/14]