For Immediate Release, January 8, 2020
Contact: Kassie Siegel, (951) 961-7972,

Sanders, Warren Beat Biden on Climate Scorecard for Presidential Candidates

WASHINGTON — The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund released a presidential candidate climate scorecard today that highlights the stark differences between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who get top marks, and Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, who receive far lower scores.

Today’s scorecard assesses the climate plans of the seven presidential candidates who are participating in, or remain contenders, for the Jan. 14 Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa.

The scorecard evaluates whether candidates plan to take 10 key actions to address climate change, most of which can be accomplished by the president under existing law, without the need for new legislation. The actions include declaring a national climate emergency, banning fracking and phasing out fossil fuel production, and implementing a 100% renewable electricity system by 2030.

“We need a Democrat in the White House to have any chance of saving our planet’s climate, but that president has to take bold, fast action,” said Kassie Siegel, climate director at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. “The steps needed to avert complete climate catastrophe are clear, and any candidate who won’t commit right now to taking these critical actions doesn’t deserve our support.”

Only Sen. Sanders, Sen. Warren and Tom Steyer have promised to declare a climate emergency. That key step would communicate the urgency of the situation and unlock key presidential powers under the National Emergencies Act, such as the ability to halt all crude oil exports and redirect a portion of military spending to renewable energy construction.

In one area of complete agreement, the top seven candidates have all pledged to immediately end new fossil fuel leasing on public lands.

In contrast only Sanders, Warren and Steyer currently support other necessary actions to rein in dirty fossil fuels, including a ban on fracking and a halt to fossil fuel exports. Only Sanders and Steyer have committed to a full phaseout of all U.S. fossil fuel extraction.

Biden scored only 2 out of 10 points, but in one of those bright spots, joined Warren, Sanders and Steyer in calling for prosecuting the large fossil fuel polluters in court.

Sen. Klobuchar received the lowest score of any candidate, receiving only 1 out of 10.

“The next president will have more power than anyone else on the planet to address this crisis. It’s time to ask some Democratic candidates why they haven’t yet committed to taking the necessary steps to address the climate emergency,” said Siegel.

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund is a national, nonprofit organization that advocates for legislation and legislators that will advance a progressive environmental agenda. The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) affiliate of the Center for Biological Diversity, but these organizations’ names are not interchangeable. This news release is from the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, not the Center for Biological Diversity.