Tackling the Climate Crisis Head On
Elizabeth is committed to addressing climate change, because our planet depends on it. If you’re in this fight by her side, add your name.
This plan was originally released during Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.
Fight for a Green New Deal
The world’s leading experts have long known that climate change is man-made, and we are running out of time. We already see its effects everyday -- record floods, terrifying wildfires, devastating hurricanes -- in events that cost lives and cause billions of dollars in damage, and that disproportionately impact our most vulnerable communities.
But right now, Washington refuses to lift a finger without permission from the fossil fuel industry. That’s dangerous and it’s wrong. We need a government that makes different choices -- a government that will stop handing out enormous tax giveaways to big oil companies, and stop refusing to invest in our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.
This is a crisis. We need bold, aggressive action. We need a Green New Deal -- and we need it now. Elizabeth is proud to be an original cosponsor of Senator Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution, which commits the United States to a ten-year mobilization to achieve domestic net-zero emissions by 2030. It provides the framework for an ambitious effort to transform our economy and save our planet.The consequences of climate change are severe, and they are already affecting places like Burlington, Iowa. We have a moral responsibility to act—now.
Like the challenges America has faced before, the climate crisis is also an opportunity: to create good, union, American jobs in clean and renewable energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing; and to directly confront the racial and economic inequality embedded in our fossil fuel economy.
That means investing in sustainable, resilient infrastructure to meet the energy demands of the 21st century. Setting aggressive sector-specific standards to rapidly decarbonize across every sector of our economy. Encouraging our farmers to adopt climate-friendly sustainable agriculture practices. Conserving our public lands and making them part of the climate solution. Crafting international economic policies that encourage countries around the world to reduce emissions. Creating solutions that are just and sustainable for all Americans.
We must meet the urgency of the moment, and a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change would be a top priority in a Warren administration. But we won’t meet our emissions goals with a one-time, one-size-fits-all approach. To really bend the curve on climate, we’ll need sustained big, structural change across a range of industries and sectors. That’s why Elizabeth has woven Green New Deal policies throughout her plans, and that’s why she’ll use all the levers of government to defeat the climate crisis.
And all told, independent economists have estimated that Elizabeth’s plans to address the climate crisis will inject over $10 trillion dollars into our economy and create over 10 million new jobs.
When it comes to climate change, our very existence is at stake. We must meet the urgency of the moment -- with a Green New Deal to transform our economy and save our planet.
Read more about some of Elizabeth’s plans to make good on her promise of a Green New Deal below.
Clean Air & Water
Clean air and water are vital to our health and welfare and to our economy. We can't allow big corporations to mortgage our planet's future by continuing to pump dangerous amounts of pollution into our communities -- especially communities of color and low-income communities that are hardest hit.
Elizabeth will restore the Obama-era environmental protections that safeguard the air we breathe and the water we drink. That includes reinstating the methane pollution rule to limit existing oil and gas projects from releasing harmful gases that poison our air. She will work to decarbonize our electric sector by restoring the Clean Power Plan to put limits on carbon pollution emitted from our power plants. She’ll set tough standards for vehicle emissions, protect tax credits for electric and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, and put real dollars behind transitioning toward cleaner electric vehicles and building a 21st century transportation system.
Elizabeth is the only candidate to propose a Blue New Deal to protect our oceans and inland waterways. She’ll expand offshore wind energy development and end offshore drilling by banning new leases and phasing out existing drilling. She’ll expand marine protected areas and work to restore vulnerable marine ecosystems, like Florida’s mangroves and our Great Lakes. She’ll invest in U.S. fisheries and fight for U.S. fishermen. She’ll build climate smart ports and stand up for American maritime workers and the men and women who work in and around them.
She’ll reinstitute the clean water rule to protect our lakes, rivers, and streams, and the drinking water they provide. And she will make agribusinesses pay the full costs of the environmental damage they wreak by closing the loopholes they use to get away with polluting and beefing up enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, holding them accountable for the upstream pollution that damages our lakes and oceans.
In a system rigged for the wealthy and well-connected, communities of color are often hit the hardest. When communities like Flint, Michigan are living with poisoned water and polluted air, Elizabeth knows we need to fight back. As president, she would increase and enforce water quality standards and invest in our nation’s public water systems -- ending decades of disinvestment and privatization to ensure safe, affordable drinking water for all of us.
Click here to read Elizabeth’s Blue New Deal to rebuild our blue economy, protect and restore ocean habitat, and adapt in a climate changed world.
Elizabeth accepted Jay Inslee’s challenge to prioritize the threat of climate change by calling for a ten-year action plan to achieve 100% clean energy for America – and his ideas should remain at the center of the Green New Deal agenda. Elizabeth committed to adopt and build on Governor Inslee’s ten-year action plan by decarbonizing our electricity, vehicle, and building sectors, which together are responsible for nearly 70 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions. And as part of her commitment to the Green New Deal, she pledged an additional $1 trillion over 10 years – fully paid for by reversing Trump’s tax cuts for billionaires and giant corporations – to subsidize the transition to 100% clean energy.
Here’s Elizabeth’s commitment:
100% Clean Electricity. Renewables are the fastest growing source of electricity generation, and Elizabeth will pair ambitious regulatory goals with subsidies to speed clean energy adoption. By 2035, we will achieve 100% clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy in electricity generation.
100% Clean Vehicles. Elizabeth will set bold standards for fuels and emissions and boost consumer demand for zero-emission vehicles by creating a “Clean Cars for Clunkers” program to replace fuel-inefficient cars. By 2030, we’ll reach 100% zero emissions for all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and all buses.
100% Clean Buildings. Elizabeth will create a national zero-carbon building standard by 2023 and link energy and pollution standards to federal support for new construction projects. She’ll use the power of the federal government to shift the market by eliminating all fossil fuel use in new and renovated federal buildings by 2025. By 2028, we’ll attain 100% zero-carbon pollution for all new commercial and residential buildings.
We have the technology today to start to construct a cleaner grid and to green our communities, and Elizabeth’s Green Apollo program will fund the research and develop the technology we need to go the final mile. Her Green Manufacturing plan will fund the procurement of clean energy products for federal, state, and local governments, and she’ll commit $1.5 trillion more to subsidize the consumer transition to clean and renewable electricity. And in doing so, we’ll grow our economy, improve our health, and reduce the structural inequalities embedded in our existing fossil fuel system.
Click here to read more about Elizabeth’s plan to meet Jay Inslee’s challenge and achieve 100% clean energy for America.
When Donald Trump became president, he appointed the CEO of ExxonMobil as his first Secretary of State. His pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency was a climate denier with ties to Big Oil – and when he was forced to resign after a slew of ethics violations, Trump replaced him with a former coal lobbyist. His Secretary of Interior had been a board member on an oil pipeline company – and when he was also forced to resign for ethics investigations, Trump replaced him with a former Big Oil lobbyist.
Washington works great for well-connected oil companies that want to drill everywhere -- just not for the rest of us watching climate change bear down on our planet. That’s why Elizabeth has proposed an ambitious set of reforms to fundamentally change the way Washington does business.
Elizabeth was the first 2020 candidate to sign the No Fossil Fuel Pledge, committing to reject campaign contributions from oil, gas, and coal industries. She fought against Trump nominees like David Bernhardt and Andrew Wheeler -- walking conflicts of interest with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. To reduce the influence of those companies on our government, she has proposed the biggest anti-corruption reform package since Watergate -- ending lobbying as we know it, and slamming shut the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington.
For far too long, when giant corporations get caught breaking the law, they often pay a fine and go back to business as usual – while the consumers who are harmed are left picking up the pieces. Elizabeth’s Corporate Executive Accountability Act would hold executives of large corporations criminally responsible when their companies commit crimes, harm large numbers of Americans through civil violations, or repeatedly violate federal law. If Big Oil executives know that they could go to jail when their companies break the law, they will have to manage their companies responsibly.
Big Oil has been allowed to suck down billions of dollars in subsidies at the expense of the environment and working families. Elizabeth supports eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and using that money to invest in clean and renewable energy and infrastructure. And Elizabeth’s Climate Risk Disclosure Act would require companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and price their exposure to climate risk into their valuations, raising public awareness of just how dependent companies are on fossil fuels and accelerating the transition to clean energy.
Click here to read more about Elizabeth’s plan to use market forces to speed the transition to clean energy -- without spending a dime of taxpayer money.
We have a crisis of environmental injustice in America that is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism compounding in communities that have been overlooked for too long. It is no coincidence that communities of color are more likely to live in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of air pollution than white families — even when they have the same or greater income. It is the result of choices that put corporate profits before people, while our government looked the other way. This is unacceptable, and it must end. Elizabeth has a plan to fight for justice as we defeat the climate crisis and transition to a 100% clean energy economy, leaving no community and no worker behind.
The solution to our crisis of environmental injustice must be led by the communities who are most affected by industrial pollution, which is why the federal government must support and uplift their efforts — including by better identifying at-risk communities and prioritizing resources to support them and remediate historic injustices. To achieve a just transition, we will direct at least $1 trillion in climate investments into frontline communities, create millions of new good, middle-class union jobs to fight climate change, honor our commitments to fossil fuel workers, hold corporate polluters accountable, and elevate the voices of frontline and fenceline community leaders at the highest levels of our government.
Click here to read more about Elizabeth’s plan to fight for justice as we combat the climate crisis by implementing a Green New Deal.
Elizabeth understands that tackling our climate crisis means ensuring green homes, schools, and buildings are safe, available and affordable. To achieve green homes and buildings, she will use every lever of government, including engaging state and local governments. In her plan for affordable housing, she commits $500 billion over the next ten years to build, preserve, and rehabilitate units that will be affordable to lower-income families. All new commercial and residential buildings -- including public housing -- will have zero carbon pollution by 2028. They will also undergo an environmental equity screen during the siting and construction phases to avoid subjecting low-income communities to unhealthy living conditions. An additional $10 billion in competitive grant programs will be available for cities, states, and local governments to invest in infrastructure, parks, roads, or schools after they reform land-use rules to allow affordable housing construction. And Elizabeth has a plan to meet Governor Inslee's target of retrofitting 4% of existing houses and buildings every year until the job is done.
Elizabeth will fight to ensure every home and school is safe and toxic-free, including from dangerous chemicals like lead. For example, she will expand refundable credits for installing energy efficiency upgrades and tax credits for lead remediation and the use of wind and solar power. Elizabeth also commits to include energy and pollution standards in federal contracts for construction projects. She will make it easier for institutional capital to invest in portfolio-scale green construction and retrofits, scaling up clean energy in large projects. A Warren administration is prepared to accelerate proven appliance energy efficiency standards to make American-manufactured appliances cleaner and more competitive across the globe. And Elizabeth will fight to make sure that children have the learning environments they deserve by committing an additional $50 billion to improving our school infrastructure.
Read about her plan for Safe and Affordable Housing here.
Elizabeth believes that we have an obligation wherever possible to focus our investments on the clean technologies of the future instead of on the dirty energy of the past. For too long, our government has failed to invest in the roads, bridges, water and transit systems that Americans rely on. Our roads and bridges are crumbling: the American Society of Civil Engineers gave them a “D” grade on their most recent infrastructure report card. Defeating the climate crisis will require upgrading our infrastructure to guard against the worst effects of climate change and protect our most vulnerable communities.
That’s why Elizabeth has proposed investing $10.7 trillion dollars towards rebuilding our water, transportation, and building infrastructure -- creating 10.6 million jobs in the process.
Right now, our broken water system puts Americans at risk -- especially the communities of color living on the front lines. A Warren administration will triple the US Army Corps of Engineers’ annual budget so that they have the resources they need to upgrade our water infrastructure and defend our vulnerable communities from harm. Elizabeth will restart our transportation sector through her “Build Green” program, which establishes new grants to electrify public buses, school buses, rail, cars, and fleet vehicles. And her Green Public Housing program will build on the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act by raising living standards and providing the financial assistance necessary to retrofit these homes.
As president, Elizabeth would subject each new infrastructure project to a climate test: a stringent environmental impact review conducted by independent entities without conflicts of interest related to the project. She supports full public input and analysis of proposed energy infrastructure projects -- including the free, prior and informed consent of the Tribal Nations concerned when a project crosses Tribal lands. Elizabeth opposes the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines because of the threat they pose to our public waters, lands, and agricultural areas, and because they cross areas important to several Tribal Nations without full Tribal consent. She has committed to revoke improperly granted permits for these pipelines and reject permitting of new projects where appropriate processes are not followed.
Elizabeth knows we need to invest in sustainable infrastructure to meet the energy demands of the 21st century. She opposed lifting the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil and would prohibit future fossil fuel exports. Instead, she supports investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including distributed generation and clean energy technologies like solar and wind power.
Click here to read Elizabeth's plan to rebuild America's infrastructure.
Defeating the climate crisis will require the ingenuity of the moon landing and an economic and industrial mobilization unseen since our efforts in World War II. It will need to happen at the speed and scale of FDR’s New Deal, which launched over 50 federal programs and pulled millions of Americans out of unemployment. It will take workers of all kinds to rebuild and repower our energy grid and to upgrade our transportation, building, and water systems to guard against the worst effects of climate change and protect our most vulnerable communities. And it will take workers from every corner of America -- from construction foremen in the Rust Belt to pipefitters in the Bayou -- to transform our country’s infrastructure.
Taken together, Elizabeth’s plans for a Green New Deal will result in a total estimated public and private investment of $10.7 trillion in our new green economy. And independent experts that examined her ideas for a Green New Deal to analyze how they will drive job creation estimated that they will create 10.6 million new green jobs. This will help rebuild the middle class by providing family-supporting wages, career pathways, and worker protections in our new green economy.
Elizabeth is committed to developing the green workforce of the future. That’s why she is committing to investing in retraining, building joint labor-management apprenticeships, and creating strong career pipelines to support the millions of workers who will fuel the transition to the new clean energy economy. She will expand job training through a tenfold increase in investments in apprenticeships -- a $20 billion commitment over the next ten years. She will empower workers by conditioning federal clean energy investments to state, local, and tribal governments on employers offering family-supporting wages and benefits. And she will partner with unions at every step of the way to protect and empower American workers, including by making sweeping reforms to our labor policy.
These jobs won’t just rebuild our country’s infrastructure: they will help rebuild the middle class. And we’ll build this new economy together -- with no community and no worker left behind.
Click here to read Elizabeth’s plan to create 10.6 million green jobs.
Elizabeth knows that we can lead the global effort to combat climate change with big and bold investments in American research, American industry, and American workers. Her green manufacturing plan would invest $2 trillion over the next ten years in green research, manufacturing, and exporting -- creating more than a million good jobs at home and helping achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal.
Elizabeth believes the United States should lead the world in developing and deploying the green technology needed to combat the climate crisis. Her plan starts with a Green Apollo Program: a $400 billion commitment to clean energy research over ten years, with protections in place to ensure that technology is manufactured here at home, not overseas. Elizabeth will use the full power of the federal procurement process to create demand for the resulting technology, committing $1.5 trillion over ten years to purchase American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use. And she will use all the tools in our diplomatic and economic arsenal to encourage other countries to purchase these products, including making a $100 billion commitment to accelerate exports of American-made clean energy technology.
While we’re building our green manufacturing infrastructure to hit our Green New Deal targets, American workers must benefit from our investments. Elizabeth believes that unions built America’s middle class, and unions will rebuild America’s middle class. Under her labor plan, Elizabeth would guarantee working people their right to organize by banning so-called “right to work” laws and supporting card check for employees to join a union with majority support. She will fight for the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act so public workers have the right to organize and participate in collective bargaining. She’ll end worker misclassification as “independent contractors” to protect basic rights for millions of workers. And she will condition federal clean energy investments to state, local, and tribal governments on employers offering family-supporting wages and benefits — and will enforce this through Project Labor Agreements, prevailing wage laws, and Community Benefit Agreements.
Click here to read Elizabeth’s full green manufacturing plan for America, which outlines how she will bank on American ingenuity and American workers to lead the global climate effort.
Even after we reduce U.S. emissions to net-zero, we’ll still fall short of the reduction in global emissions needed to avert a climate crisis. Elizabeth would return the United States to the Paris Climate Accord -- but that’s only the beginning of what we must do together to save our planet.
Elizabeth believes our international economic efforts should be focused on accelerating the global transition to clean energy. She would end support for international fossil fuel projects through the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and use America’s voting power in the World Bank and other global financial institutions to redirect investments from fossil fuel to clean energy projects. Her Green Marshall Plan will provide American-made clean energy technology to countries that need it most. She’ll commit $100 billion over ten years to offer discounts to countries hardest hit by the climate crisis, or as an incentive for regulatory changes that further reduce emissions.
Elizabeth will require the Pentagon to achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030, consistent with the Green New Deal. And she’ll invest billions of dollars into a new, ten-year R&D program focused on microgrids and advanced energy storage.
Wealthy industrialized nations have disproportionately benefited from fossil fuels, while other countries disproportionately suffer the impacts. Elizabeth knows that we must help countries adapt to climate change and address refugee flows as a result of climate insecurity. But we must also commit to reduce the structural inequalities that make some countries so vulnerable in the first place.
Protecting Public Lands
On her first day as president, Elizabeth will sign an executive order that says no more drilling -- a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands. But it’s not enough to end our public lands’ contribution to climate change: we have an enormous opportunity to make them a part of the climate solution. Elizabeth has set a goal of providing 10% of our overall electricity generation from renewable sources offshore or on public lands, nearly ten times our current generation capacity.
Elizabeth is strongly opposed to the sale or transfer of our national forests, wildlife refuges, and other national public lands. She will fight to keep our public lands in public hands, restoring and expanding protections to national monuments targeted by the Trump administration, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah.
She’ll fully fund our public land management agencies to eliminate the infrastructure and maintenance backlog of crumbling roads and bridges, leaking roofs, and unmaintained trails in her first term, and make Land and Water Conservation Fund spending mandatory to ensure that we continue to preserve lands for conservation and recreation. Money alone won’t solve these problems – it will also take hard work. Elizabeth will jumpstart a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps to create job opportunities for thousands of young Americans and veterans caring for our natural resources, deepening their lifelong relationship with the great outdoors.
National Parks should be protected and accessible to all, not just the wealthy or privileged. We hand over the drilling rights to fossil fuel companies for practically no money at all – then turn around and charge low-income families more than a day’s pay to access our parks. The National Park Service is funded by taxpayers, and it’s long past time to make entry into our parks free to ensure that visiting our nation’s treasures is within reach for every American family. This isn’t just the right thing to do – it will also help strengthen our economy. Public lands are huge economic engines for local communities, drawing in travel and tourism dollars, helping small businesses, and creating millions of jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.
Click here to read Elizabeth’s full plan for managing our public lands and preserving wild, natural places for generations to come.
America’s family farmers are suffering from the effects of climate change, but right now, agriculture is also one of the largest polluters in our economy. The system is broken because Big Ag corporations at the top of the supply chain pay artificially low costs while farmers struggle, forcing farmers to overproduce and use more fertilizer to try to break even. Elizabeth will lead a full-out effort to decarbonize the agriculture sector by replacing our government’s failed approach to the farm economy with one that supports family farmers and sustainable agriculture -- giving our farmers the tools, research, and training they need to achieve the objectives of a Green New Deal.
Farmers are already adopting climate-friendly practices. But today there are far more farmers who want to join land conservation programs than there are funds available to support them. Elizabeth’s plan will radically expand a tried-and-true program – the Conservation Stewardship Program – that funds farmers transitioning to sustainable practices, so that every farmer who wants to use their land to fight climate change can do so. By guaranteeing farmers a fair price and paying them to diversify their farms, Elizabeth’s plan gives farmers the freedom to be a part of the climate solution.
Elizabeth will target a share of the $400 billion R&D commitment from her Green Manufacturing Plan toward decarbonizing the agriculture sector, including a farmer-led Innovation Fund to pilot new methods of sustainable farming. She will restore land grant universities to their core purpose of supporting our family farmers and our environment, not Big Ag.
And she’ll level the playing field for family farmers by holding Big Ag accountable – closing the loopholes industrial livestock operations use to pollute our environment, and beefing up enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts against them to make them pay for the full costs of the environmental damage they wreak. And Elizabeth will use every tool she has to break up big agribusinesses and reverse anti-competitive mergers.
Click here to read more about Elizabeth’s planned investments in sustainable agriculture to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal.
For decades, Washington has let multinational corporations dictate America’s trade policy, weakening environmental standards and accelerating climate change. As President, Elizabeth will transform our approach to trade -- bringing transparency to trade negotiations, leveling the playing field by raising global standards, and enforcing environmental accountability.
Under Elizabeth’s plan, countries will be required to join the Paris Climate Agreement and eliminate domestic fuel subsidies as a precondition for entering trade negotiations with the United States. Elizabeth will seek a new multilateral agreement to protect domestic subsidies for green products and preferential treatment for green energy production from WTO challenges. And because big corporations may try to move their production to the countries with the weakest greenhouse gas emissions standards, she’ll impose a border carbon adjustment on carbon-intensive imported goods.
Elizabeth will end the practice of secret trade negotiations heavily influenced by corporate interests. She’ll ensure that environmental, consumer, and labor representatives have a seat at the table and outnumber corporate interests on trade advisory committees. And rather than rushing trade deals through Congress, she’ll make draft agreements public -- giving Americans, including environmental groups, an opportunity to comment.
Elizabeth also supports creating a “non-sustainable economy” designation, which would allow us to impose tougher penalties on countries with systematically poor labor and environmental practices. She’ll strengthen enforcement by creating a labor and environmental enforcement division under the United States Trade Representative, and she’ll remove Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions that allow multinational corporations to single-handedly undermine environmental regulations.
Click here to read more about how Elizabeth’s trade policy will strengthen environmental standards and combat climate change.
Climate change has disproportionately impacted Native people and will continue to do so as its effects worsen. Our climate policies must address these disparate consequences, prioritizing the interests of Tribal Nations and all frontline communities, in a manner consistent with the Green New Deal.
Elizabeth will end the practice of placing the interests of companies that want to exploit our environment ahead of the interests of Native people who seek to preserve their homelands and sacred sites. She’ll incorporate the interests of Tribal Nations into our administration of public lands, reflecting their traditional ecological knowledge, making provisions for tribal culture and customs, and exploring co-management and the return of resources to indigenous protection wherever possible.
Elizabeth opposes the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines because of the threat they pose to our public waters, lands, and agricultural areas, and because they cross areas important to several Tribal Nations without full Tribal consent. She has committed to revoke improperly granted permits for these pipelines and reject permitting of new projects where appropriate processes are not followed. She believes that absent extraordinary circumstances, no project, development, or federal decision significantly impacting tribal communities, their lands, resources, citizens, or religious practices should proceed without free, prior and informed consent from the Tribal Nation concerned.
Elizabeth will empower tribal communities with the resources to fully fund needed electrical grids and expand existing successful renewable energy initiatives. Her Green Manufacturing plan would prioritize resources for communities that often bear the brunt of climate change, including tribal governments. And she’ll make respect for sacred tribal religious interests the law of the land.
Click here to read Elizabeth’s full plan to honor and empower Tribal Nations and indigenous peoples.