Elizabeth Warren Zeroes In On Climate Change Ahead Of Next Debate

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has already proposed a suite of policy ideas to dramatically slash planet-heating emissions and transition workers into clean industries.

But the Massachusetts senator’s campaign is ramping up its focus on the climate crisis ahead of Thursday night’s debate in Los Angeles, where wildfires forced more than 40,000 to flee their homes less than two months ago.

Last week, Warren unveiled her “Blue New Deal,” the first comprehensive campaign proposal to revitalize coastal economies by fortifying ports, spurring new markets for seafood and completely overhauling the offshore energy industry. On Wednesday, she published an op-ed outlining how she’d target fossil fuel companies and reverse President Donald Trump’s assault on environmental regulations during her first 100 days in the White House.

Then, on Thursday, the campaign announced an endorsement from Rhiana Gunn-Wright, the policy researcher who helped write the Green New Deal resolution Warren co-sponsored in the Senate in February.

“There is no dealing with climate change unless we deal with corruption,” Gunn-Wright said in a video set to be released Thursday afternoon. “Every time I read a Warren climate plan, I am confident that it can take us to a Green New Deal, because I see her thinking about: How do we use all the levers of government?”

The endorsement comes as Warren is sliding in national polls, which commentators have largely attributed to her apparent wobbling on “Medicare for All.” The loss of her brief front-runner status this fall is widely seen as aiding the surge of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on her left and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg on her right.

Yet Warren’s shift on climate could position her to be more competitive against Sanders, who has made his own push on the issue over the past month and picked up major endorsements from youth activists.

Warren and Sanders have taken different approaches on climate. Warren has put out more than half a dozen individual plans to spend a combined $3 trillion on solving specific issues like spurring a green manufacturing boom and transitioning the military off fossil fuels. Sanders, by contrast, has released a $16.3 trillion megaproposal for a Green New Deal that includes everything from creating a public option for electricity to spending nearly $15 billion to encourage worker-owned grocery stores.

Yet Warren trails Sanders only slightly on climate, according to green groups’ rankings. Greenpeace graded her an A and Sanders an A+. On a scale of 200, the Sunrise Movement, the group that pushed the Green New Deal into the mainstream, scored Warren at 168 and Sanders at 183. 350 Action gave both candidates three thumbs up.

Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders participate in the November primary debate in Atlanta. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders participate in the November primary debate in Atlanta. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Sanders has picked up endorsements from the teen-led U.S. Youth Climate Strike and 18-year-old activist Jamie Margolin. He’s also backed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the star first-term Democrats who proposed the first two major pieces of Green New Deal legislation last month. (Sanders sponsored the Senate version of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal for Public Housing bill last month).

But the starkest contrast on the issue is between the two progressive contenders and their moderate rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden and Buttigieg. Biden’s campaign is stacked with gas industry allies. Buttigieg’s climate adviser, David Victor, has been called a “fossil fuel shill” for taking research funding from an oil giant and deflecting blame from the industry.

It’s unclear how much average voters care about a candidate’s green credentials when the ability to defeat Trump, who is widely criticized as a climate change denier, is a foremost concern for Democrats and independents who lean left. Climate was the No. 2 concern after health care for Iowa caucusgoers in a Monmouth University survey from April. In California, nearly half of Democratic primary voters said climate should be the top issue for the next president, according to a Los Angeles Times poll published this month.

The trend bears out nationally. About 38% of registered voters favored a Green New Deal proposal that spends upward of $10 trillion slashing climate-changing emissions by 2030, according to an August nationwide survey commissioned by the left-leaning think tank Data for Progress. That compared to 32.5% who preferred a $1.7 trillion plan to zero out emissions by 2050 ― more in line with what Biden proposed.

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1st Prize Winner: Fog in Germany by SkyPro

This windmill pair was shot in the early morning hours. The shallow fog had been around for days because of no wind, high humidity and cold temperatures.
This windmill pair was shot in the early morning hours. The shallow fog had been around for days because of no wind, high humidity and cold temperatures.

2nd Prize Winner: Church of Paracatu by Alexandre Salem

The city of Paracatu was vanished by a river of mud, after a mining dam burst at Mariana, Minas Gerais. It was the biggest environmental accident in Brazil’s history.
The city of Paracatu was vanished by a river of mud, after a mining dam burst at Mariana, Minas Gerais. It was the biggest environmental accident in Brazil’s history.

3rd Prize winner: Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia by Yuyusera

Palangkaraya – The most polluted place on earth! This photo was taken on October 4th, 2015 when my friends and I did a campaign called “Kalteng with Love” where we gave free masks, milk and vitamin for the people in the city of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Thick smoke was hovering over where we live. The particulate meter that day showed that the air was so poluted and reached over 2000 psi. The smoke was caused by the fires in Borneo peatlands that was started from the end of July. For almost three months the people in Borneo had to breathe such toxicating air. There are lots of people who suffered from respiratory problems. Schools off. Flights could not operate. Economic system became paralyzed. Borneo is known as the lungs of the world and the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, and these fires are not helping. We were even labelled as the most polluted place on earth. Through this photo, I would like to raise the world’s awareness that this matter is a huge problem for all of us. This challenge is addressed not only to people in Borneo and Indonesia, but also to the entire world. Could you imagine if all of the forests in Borneo disappear and there is limitied source of oxygen left for over 7 billion people?
Palangkaraya – The most polluted place on earth! This photo was taken on October 4th, 2015 when my friends and I did a campaign called “Kalteng with Love” where we gave free masks, milk and vitamin for the people in the city of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Thick smoke was hovering over where we live. The particulate meter that day showed that the air was so poluted and reached over 2000 psi. The smoke was caused by the fires in Borneo peatlands that was started from the end of July. For almost three months the people in Borneo had to breathe such toxicating air. There are lots of people who suffered from respiratory problems. Schools off. Flights could not operate. Economic system became paralyzed. Borneo is known as the lungs of the world and the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, and these fires are not helping. We were even labelled as the most polluted place on earth. Through this photo, I would like to raise the world’s awareness that this matter is a huge problem for all of us. This challenge is addressed not only to people in Borneo and Indonesia, but also to the entire world. Could you imagine if all of the forests in Borneo disappear and there is limitied source of oxygen left for over 7 billion people?

4th Prize Winner: Wind Power near Berlin by King-Fisher

Wind power from approx. 120m height.
Wind power from approx. 120m height.

5th Prize Winner: Energy Active Office Building, Genk, Belgium by Drone-Partner

Energy ACTIVE office building, about 1100m² floorspace : produce yearly more energy then it consumes ( better then passive house results !). Heating & cooling by deep geothermal heatpump with electric compensation of full integrated PV-solarpanels (BIPV) in 45°-roof. Owner : www.stebo.be Building designed by www.burob.be & www.geertdebruyn.be , construction : www.i3.be BIPV solar roof : http://solar.golden-glass.com/c465.html  Drone : Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K
Energy ACTIVE office building, about 1100m² floorspace : produce yearly more energy then it consumes ( better then passive house results !). Heating & cooling by deep geothermal heatpump with electric compensation of full integrated PV-solarpanels (BIPV) in 45°-roof. Owner : www.stebo.be Building designed by www.burob.be & www.geertdebruyn.be , construction : www.i3.be BIPV solar roof : http://solar.golden-glass.com/c465.html Drone : Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K

6th Prize Winner: Holbury, New Forest, UK by Mark Baker

Taken in between two banks of fog in a 2 minute window. Showing the tanks and stacks of Fawley Refinery.
Taken in between two banks of fog in a 2 minute window. Showing the tanks and stacks of Fawley Refinery.

7th Prize Winner: Tiny island in the lake of Galvė by Karolis Janulis

The tiny island in the lake of Galvė looks like a continent and shows us how small our world really is. One tree cut on this island, one nest pulled apart or another kind of intervention will change it beyond our recognition. It is up to us all to make our planet clean and green
The tiny island in the lake of Galvė looks like a continent and shows us how small our world really is. One tree cut on this island, one nest pulled apart or another kind of intervention will change it beyond our recognition. It is up to us all to make our planet clean and green

8th Prize Winner: High Tide in La Jolla, California by Kevin Dilliard

This is a picture of the king high tide crashing against this restaurant on the sand in la jolla shores. the king tide was at the peak in this photo at +7feet . is this a result of higher tides due to global warning.Today many coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable .
This is a picture of the king high tide crashing against this restaurant on the sand in la jolla shores. the king tide was at the peak in this photo at +7feet . is this a result of higher tides due to global warning.Today many coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable .

9th Prize Winner: Dhaka, Bangladesh by Zayedh

A playing field I grew up playing football on… It\’s now acquired by the real estate company and they are killed the green of the field, trees providing shadow and building the grey houses on it. It\’s a typical depiction of the impact of growing real estate companies in Bangladesh.
A playing field I grew up playing football on… It\’s now acquired by the real estate company and they are killed the green of the field, trees providing shadow and building the grey houses on it. It\’s a typical depiction of the impact of growing real estate companies in Bangladesh.

10th Prize Winner: Paracatu Cemiterio by Alexandre Salem

After a mining dam bursts, it took almost 3 hours for the mud to reach Paracatu. Fortunately, it gave time for people to abandon their houses and run. The cemitery of Paracatu stays on a small hill, and it was there where many people rushed to protect themselves. And it was from there, that they saw their city being destroyed. There were no fatal victims in the city but the city itself.
After a mining dam bursts, it took almost 3 hours for the mud to reach Paracatu. Fortunately, it gave time for people to abandon their houses and run. The cemitery of Paracatu stays on a small hill, and it was there where many people rushed to protect themselves. And it was from there, that they saw their city being destroyed. There were no fatal victims in the city but the city itself.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.