Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday unveiled his plan to tackle climate change that includes a new role devoted to the issue within the Defense Department and World War II-style “climate action” bonds, among other priorities.
Mr. Buttigieg set a time frame of getting the U.S. to net-zero emissions by 2050, with priorities that include doubling the clean electricity generated in the country by 2025 and requiring zero emissions for all new passenger vehicles by 2035.
“For too long Washington has chosen denial and obstruction as we’re faced with the imminent catastrophic effects of climate change,” said Mr. Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana. “My plan ensures that no community is left behind as we meet the challenge of our time with the urgency and unity it demands.”
Mr. Buttigieg wants to create a senior climate security role within the Defense Department to prepare for risks, and increase the climate planning and regional readiness budget at DoD. He would also direct that all new Defense Department facilities and non-combat vehicles be net-zero emissions by 2025.
He also wants to issue “Climate Action Bonds” to help pay for clean energy and resilience projects; his plan likened them to World War II-era war bonds.
Mr. Buttigieg would establish a National Catastrophic Extreme Weather Insurance (CEWI) program where certain families that experience climate change-related disruptions could purchase federally-subsidized catastrophic insurance.
His plan includes a “price” on carbon that would automatically increase each year, and imposes a border tax on imports from countries that don’t have their own form of carbon tax.
He also plans to sign an executive order mandating any new material the federal government uses or pays for to build infrastructure meets certain carbon emissions standards.
Mr. Buttigieg released his plan as he and other presidential candidates are set to participate in a “climate crisis” town hall in New York on Wednesday hosted by CNN.
Other candidates who have released their own plans to tackle climate change in recent days include former Obama administration official Julián Castro, Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
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