climate change

Should we rejoin the Paris Agreement?

Yes with a specific target

Yes with a specific target

Candidates who provided specific U.S. emissions targets.

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Yes, I would rejoin the Paris climate agreement and other relevant climate negotiations on the first day of the Bennet Administration,” Bennet told The Post. His climate plan said, “In line with direction from global scientists, America must urgently reduce pollution below dangerous levels and achieve 100 percent clean, net-zero emissions as fast as possible, and in no case later than 2050.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden “will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change – he will go much further than that,” his climate change plan said. “He will lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets.” His plan calls for “a 100% clean energy economy and [reaching] net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

May 2: “Today, the House votes on #HR9, the #ClimateActionNow Act, which restores our commitment to the #ParisAgreement. We need to face facts on climate change. It’s already here. It is a major threat to our future and we simply cannot wait to take action.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Yes. We need to substantially increase our commitments to decarbonize much more quickly, and push other countries to match the scale and pace of our actions,” Booker told The Post. His climate change plan calls for achieving “a carbon-neutral economy by 2045.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“My first executive action, will be to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and rally the international community to go further, achieving worldwide net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Castro's climate plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“The U.S. should increase its ambition and target deeper reductions from our Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, setting a benchmark of 40 percent reduction by 2030 and getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” a campaign spokesman told The Post. “To achieve this we must reverse the disastrous Trump rollbacks to the Clean Power Plan and CAFE standards, while identifying new ways to decarbonize buildings and transportation as we are doing in NYC.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes, I support rejoining the Paris climate agreement,” Gabbard told The Post. “Without global action to drastically curb carbon pollution, climate change threatens the safety and security of the planet, especially in places like Hawaii where we are already experiencing its devastating effects. The United States should be leading by example.” Gabbard supports requiring "global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030," and net-zero emissions both in the U.S. and globally by 2050, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. “We ... need to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, stop the expansion of offshore drilling and drilling on public lands and require companies to report climate risks,”campaign website said. Her campaign told The Post that Gillibrand “believes that globally, emissions targets should be adjusted to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and in the U.S., we should strive to achieve net zero carbon in the next ten years.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris “will immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement and chart a path forward, demonstrating to the international community that the U.S. is deeply committed to global climate action,” her climate plan said. “[Harris] will set an ambitious updated target and set forth a bold mid-century strategy of reaching a carbon-neutral economy by 2045.”

May 2: “This isn’t sustainable. We can’t keep relocating our cities — we must fix the problem. Another reason why the United States must act now, rejoin the Paris Agreement, and pass the Green New Deal. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. “Yes. President Trump’s attempt to leave the Paris Agreement was one of the most shameful decisions of a shameful presidency. America can and should be a leader in the global fight against climate change. As president, I will recommit to the Paris accord and work on Day 1 to undo Donald Trump’s attacks on international climate progress,” Inslee told The Post. “I have proposed cutting U.S. greenhouse gas pollution by 50% by 2030, and achieving net-zero emissions throughout our economy no later than 2045.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports rejoining the Paris climate agreement and would change original emissions targets, her campaign told The Post. Her climate change plan calls for putting “our country on a path to achieving 100% net-zero emissions no later than 2050 ...”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“In order to resume our role on the world stage as the indispensable nation, we must re-enter the Paris Climate agreement and lead the negotiations for an even more ambitious global plan for 2030 and beyond,” an O’Rourke spokesman told The Post. “We can convene the powers of this planet together to act while there is still time and before it is too late — doing for ourselves and the world what no other country can do.” His climate plan calls for net zero U.S. emissions by 2050.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“What President Trump did by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord is an international disgrace,” a Sanders campaign spokesman said. Sanders “believes we must take bold action to fight climate change. While the Paris agreement was an important milestone toward solving climate change, even optimistic outcomes of these talks will not put the world on the path needed to avoid the most catastrophic results of climate change. We must think beyond Paris.” In his climate plan, Sanders said, “We will not only reduce US carbon pollution emissions by 71 percent, we will support less industrialized nations in the Global South, excluding China, to help them reduce emissions by 36 percent from 2017 levels by 2030, consistent with meeting our fair share of emissions reductions under the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer's climate plan framework pledges to “restore America to its position as a global leader and an indispensable party to global efforts to take on the climate crisis by redoubling our commitment to the Paris Agreement ... and other vital international agreements.” It also sets the goal to “drive all forms of global warming pollution to net-zero by 2045.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I believe we need to return to the Paris Climate Accord,” Warren told The Post. “But we need to do far more to reduce global emissions.” Warren’s climate change plan includes “cutting carbon pollution roughly in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“As president, I would immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Accords — while simultaneously working to expand talks to push for even more meaningful and enforceable agreements,” Williamson’s campaign site said. She would set a new target of “100% reduction of emissions by 2030,” she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Yes and strengthen pledges

Yes and strengthen pledges

Others called for strengthening the U.S. pledge without specifics.

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“The Trump Administration has undermined our global leadership on tackling climate change, and unravelled component parts of the Agreement. I would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on day one of my administration, fund our international commitments on climate, and begin high-level, multilateral engagement with countries like China — which emits twice the carbon that the US does,” Bullock told The Post. “I believe that both the urgency to act and the need to reestablish global leadership on climate solutions requires the US to strengthen our commitment. While many signatories to the Paris Agreement have plans for climate change actions by 2050, I believe we can achieve many of the goals by 2040 or earlier.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Yes, I would work with other nations to increase the targets of the Paris climate agreement,” Buttigieg told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports rejoining the Paris agreement and making the targets stronger, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

May 20: “I will rejoin the Paris Climate Accords on my first day in office; and then exceed their targets and summon this generation of Americans to an all-out fight against climate change.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. “Yes, I support rejoining the Paris climate agreement,” Moulton told The Post. “And let’s not only get back into the Paris Accord, but make it stronger and better than it was before with lower emissions targets to match the scale and timing of the problem.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. It is truly shameful that the United States is the only nation to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. As the richest and most powerful nation, we should not only be leading the fight stop climate change, but we should be working to reverse it,” Ryan told The Post. “[T]he Paris Climate Agreement is just a first step. We need to do more and be more ambitious.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“We must work together with the rest of the world to deal with the existential threat of climate change — and recognize together that Paris was just a start,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “The United States must show world leadership on this crisis, including rejoining the Paris agreement – but the Paris goals are not ambitious enough,” Swalwell told The Post. “As President, I will convene a global climate summit in America in 2020 to reach a new international accord with more ambitious goals.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“America needs to rejoin the rest of the world in formally recognizing the threat posed by climate change and work with all nations to combat this existential crisis,” Yang told the New York Times. “The Paris Agreement doesn’t go far enough to mitigate climate change, and the U.S. should be a part of the conversation on what targets are necessary and how we can get to them.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Yes

Yes, supports

Others have only committed to rejoining.

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“Yes I would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement as originally signed by President Obama,” Messam told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

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Background President Trump intends to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, under which the United States had pledged by 2025 to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent of its 2005 levels. This will leave the United States the only country to reject the agreement. As the second-largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, the United States would need to do considerably more than President Obama promised in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, experts say.

Global emissions pledges are not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C

CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions

150 billion tons

Next presidential

term

100

50

0

2000

2021

2050

2100

Source: Climate Action Tracker

Global emissions pledges are not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C

CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions

150 billion tons

Next presidential

term

100

50

0

2021

2100

2000

2050

Source: Climate Action Tracker

Global emissions pledges are not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C

CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions

150 billion tons

Next presidential

term

100

50

0

2000

2021

2050

2100

Source: Climate Action Tracker

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various climate change policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

The page will update to reflect candidates’ positions as they become more clear. We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We will also note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president or an exploratory committee by June 1. The Post will reach out to additional candidates as they enter the race and then include them here.