Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Bernie Sanders Becomes First 2020 Primary Candidate to Promise Carbon Neutral Campaign

Popular
Bernie Sanders holds his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College on March 02 in Brooklyn, New York. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Corbis. Getty Images

Bernie Sanders has become the first contender in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary field to pledge to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions released by campaign travel, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.


His move comes as Democratic candidates vie to distinguish themselves on the issue of climate change. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has made it the NO. 1 focus of his run, and several including Sanders have backed the Green New Deal to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels while creating green jobs and promoting greater equality.


"Bernie Sanders is a champion in the fight for climate justice and, like him, we know we need to address our emissions through action, not just rhetoric," campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement reported in full by The Burlington Free Press. "We are proud to lead the way in the fight against climate change by acting boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable energy sources."

The campaign said that it would partner with the Vermont-based NativeEnergy to offset the costs of travel for Sanders and his staff, as well as the emissions generated by venues and attendees at campaign events. NativeEnergy works to invest in renewable energy and carbon reduction projects.

Sanders also offset the emissions generated by his 2016 primary run, as well as his 2018 run for Senate during the midterm elections. However, he was criticized in 2018 for spending almost $300,000 on private flights to support Democrats in the 2018 midterms. His campaign said it paid $5,000 in offsets last year.

Sanders isn't the only candidate to have gone carbon neutral in the past. Hilary Clinton also worked with NativeEnergy to offset her presidential campaign in 2016, The Huffington Post reported. But the history of carbon neutral campaigning goes back more than 10 years, as The Huffington Post explained:

Carbon emissions from campaign travel first became an issue during the 2004 election, when the NRDC Action Fund, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council, began raising concerns about the huge amount of fuel candidates burned crisscrossing the country.

In 2007, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack became the first presidential contender to go carbon neutral. John Edwards followed soon after. By 2008, both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain "rushed to put themselves on a carbon diet," according to MSNBC.

Sanders is also one of the 2020 contenders, along with Inslee, Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and activist Marianne Williamson to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge to refuse campaign donations from the oil, gas or coal industries.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A pangolin at a rescue center in Cambodia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Malavika Vyawahare

China has banned the trade and consumption of wild animals in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed more than 2,700 lives and infected more than 81,000 people, most of them in China, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Read More
A man carries plastic shopping bags in Times Square on May 5, 2018 in New York City. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Corbis / Getty Images

Nearly one year after New York became the second state in the nation to pass a ban on grocery store plastic bags — the law is going into effect on Sunday.

Read More
Sponsored
White gold man-made diamond solitaire engagement ring. Clean Origin

While keeping track of the new trends in the diamond industry can be hard, it is still an essential task of any savvy consumer or industry observer. Whether you are looking to catch a deal on your next diamond purchase or researching the pros and cons of an investment within the diamond industry, keeping up with the trends is imperative.

Read More
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (C) chants with housing and environmental advocates before a news conference to introduce legislation to transform public housing as part of her Green New Deal outside the U.S. Capitol Nov. 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday to chide Republicans for not reading the Green New Deal, which she introduced over one year ago, as The Hill reported. She then read the entire 14-page document into the congressional record.

Read More
Anti Ivan Duque's demonstrator is seen holding a placard with the photos of social leader Alirio Sánchez Sánchez and the indigenous Hector Janer Latín, both killed in Cauca, Colombia during a protest against Ivan Duque visit in London which included a meeting about fracking, environmental issues, the peace process implementation, and questioning the risk that social leaders in Colombia face. Andres Pantoja / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

Colombia was the most dangerous nation in 2019 to be an environmental activist and experts suspect that conditions will only get worse.

Read More