The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Bernie Sanders Becomes First 2020 Primary Candidate to Promise Carbon Neutral Campaign
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.
- Sanders campaign vows to offset all carbon emissions from travel ... ›
- Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign pledges to offset 'all carbon ... ›
- Bernie Sanders Campaign Becomes 2020's First To Promise To ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Beachgoers enjoying a pleasant evening on Georgia's St. Simons Island rushed into the water, despite warnings of sharks, to rescue dozens of short-finned pilot whales that washed ashore on Tuesday evening, according to the New York Times.
By Marlene Cimons
For nearly a century, scientists thought that malaria could only spread in places where it is really hot. That's because malaria is spread by a tiny parasite that infects mosquitoes, which then infect humans — and this parasite loves warm weather. In warmer climates, the parasite grows quickly inside the mosquito's body. But in cooler climates, the parasite develops so slowly that the mosquito will die before the it is fully grown.
A decade-long fight over the proposed construction of a giant telescope on a mountain considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians came to a head Wednesday when 33 elders were arrested for blocking the road to the summit, HuffPost Reported.