Former Vice President Joe Biden used Earth Day to press his call for sweeping government action to curb climate change and assured young voters he was “listening” to their concerns about the environment.
During a virtual fundraiser conducted Wednesday over Zoom that included Mary Nichols, who chairs the California Air Resources Board, Biden said he was inspired by young activists such as Sweden’s Greta Thunberg.
“I do remember when I was young, and the same things inspire me now that inspired me then. And it's the activities and the enthusiasm of so many young people - starting off with Greta - who became the person of the year...inspired an awful lot of young activists around the world,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said, according to the pool report.
Biden likened President Donald Trump's environmental policy to his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
“This is a non-science president, he doesn't believe in science. Sadly, our recent response to climate change has been a lot like our response to the pandemic. The Trump administration has ignored the science and refused to lead. So states have had to step up on their own on. When I’m president states will have a partner in the White House,” Biden said.
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Biden called California Gov. Gavin Newsom “one of the great leaders” on climate change and said he “talks to him all the time.”
Biden’s campaign reiterated his nine-point plan to attack climate change, including a promise to enact legislation his first year to put the United States “on an irreversible path to achieve economy-wide net-zero emissions no later than 2050. The legislation must require polluters to bear the full cost of the carbon pollution they are emitting.”
The plan includes a commitment to "ensure our agricultural sector is the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, and that our farmers earn income as we meet this milestone."
Also Wednesday, Former Vice President Al Gore and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced their endorsement of Biden.