NEWS Donald Trump and California: A battle of wildfires and wills
How fundamentally different views about climate change and a green economy could influence voters in the 2020 election.
At the UN Climate Action Summit in New York last September, Governor Newsom pointed out that: “California is significantly outperforming the United States of America in GDP growth over a five-year period because of our environmental strategies. Five to one — five to one, the number of clean energy jobs in the State of California versus fossil fuel jobs.”
Daniel Kammen, who founded the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley adds that the state is ahead of schedule in meeting its energy needs from renewable sources, and is far along in building a green economy. “Across the United States right now, 35–40 percent of all investments in green tech flow through California,” he says.
Biden is following California’s lead, and promises to transition the US to a green economy. His plan calls for investing $2 trillion over the next four years, setting the US on a path to achieve a clean energy, net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
“The 2020 election in the United States is absolutely critical,” Kammen says, “because we know on the climate side that we have very few years left to get on an innovative green energy path.”
The importance of the coming poll is at least something both sides can agree on. Radio host Win Carpenter feels it is critical that Trump wins. “Mr Trump is at one point of the government and then we are at the other end. He’s fighting from that side, we’re fighting from this side,” he says.
Former Democratic governor Jerry Brown says the stakes in the 2020 election are climate change, social turmoil and the current pandemic.