Week in Review: August 16, 2019

Aug 16, 2019

With nearly every presidential candidate crisscrossing Iowa over the last week, the Hawkeye State has been a hotbed of climate news.

Most notably, Pete Buttigieg released a rural plan that called for investing in and empowering rural communities to lead the way in combating climate change:

“Rural communities – from farmers to farm workers to Native American tribes – are at the frontlines of climate change. Water quality, arable land, weather emergencies, community relocation, livestock, and crop yields are all impacted by climate disruption. While communities have already begun adapting to the changes, Pete also wants them to become the engines of innovation for addressing climate change and economic growth.”

As we noted last week – and as multiple news outlets have also reported this week – the presidential candidates are increasingly incorporating agriculture into their climate change plans while also incorporating climate change into their agriculture plans. In fact, the recent UN IPCC special report on climate change and land is crystal clear: lands have to be a part of our climate solution – or else we’re screwed.

Here are some other climate highlights from Iowa this week:

  • Michael Bennet held a standing room only event on involving the agricultural community in climate solutions.
  • Joe Biden noted that he’s called for investing $400 billion over 10 years to address climate change.
  • Julián Castro reiterated that his first action as president would be to re-enter the Paris Climate Accord.
  • Bill de Blasio and Tulasi Gabbard both expressed their support for wind power by stopping by Power Up Iowa’s exhibit.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand said she would lead the world in a worldwide conversation about climate change.
  • Kamala Harris heard from a caucus-goer who said he’ll caucus solely for the candidates who make climate change a top priority.
  • Jay Inslee said that Iowa is already experiencing the impacts of extreme weather.
  • Amy Klobuchar, referencing Norman Borlaugh, noted that Iowans believe in science.
  • Tim Ryan said we need to combat climate change by creating jobs around a new, green economy.
  • Bernie Sanders said “Donald Trump is an idiot” for believing that climate change is a hoax.
  • Tom Steyer highlighted that he would declare a state of emergency on climate change.

Elsewhere this week, Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, and Bernie Sanders became the first presidential candidates to take the “No KXL Pledge” – making it clear that on day one in office they will revoke the unprecedented, unilateral permit that President Trump issued for the controversial pipeline.

Visit for additional climate updates from the campaign trail.