Democratic Presidential hopeful and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is set to unveil a series of proposal concerning environmental issues ahead of the United nations climate change conference in Paris.
Speaking at a campaign rally at the U.S. Capitol, Sanders came in favor of the proposal to stop new leased for fossil fuel extraction on public lands. The bill’s sponsor is Democrat and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Sanders also pledged to propose a legislation that would protect the workers in the fossil fuel industry, while the country is transitioning to renewable fuel sources.
According to Reuters, Sanders’ aides said that the proposal would be the Senator’s beginning strategy for a more comprehensive climate plan. During the Wednesday event at Capitol, Sanders himself stated “We are not going to let them fall by the wayside”, taking a strong stance to protect the workers. He also added that this is an issue he strongly believes in and said “This is a major, major, major, planetary crisis.”
Even though Senator Merkley’s bill is unlikely to pass in Congress, due to a great Republican opposition to climate change activism, it will create a supporting ground for Sanders, because his backing of the proposal will gather the environmental and climate change activists who have been pressuring Democrats to take a much stronger approach to the issue.
Hillary Clinton has been pressured by both Sanders and environmental activists to sway more to the left. She has announced in July that she would not abruptly halt oil, natural gases and coal extraction on federal government land and instead proposed a more gradual phasing out of the federal land extraction and increased fees. According to Reuters, she stated “We still have to run our economy, we still have to turn on the lights.”
Clinton has been gaining ground ahead of Bernie Sanders in the most recent polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina, most notably because of her Democratic Presidential debate performance and her stances on trade, the environment, etc.
Sanders is set to introduce more bills regarding carbon pricing and a package for tax incentives for renewable fuels. According to Reuters, his campaign confirmed that the Senator may be attending the Paris conference, but he will be presenting his full climate change proposal ahead of the event.
The Paris conference will be held at the end of November and will be attended by 190 countries. The talks will be focusing on reaching a comprehensive agreement on curbing climate change that has been caused by human behavior.