The stage is set for climate change to feature prominently in the upcoming presidential election. The science has never been clearer. The public is more concerned than they’ve been in over a decade. Young people are leading a new wave of activism that is gathering pace, including in the U.S.  And a newly emboldened progressive wing of the Democratic party is calling for a Green New Deal of far-reaching climate, industrial, social welfare and employment policies.

 

Against this backdrop, the expectations and opportunities for climate leadership are greater than ever before. Among the growing pool of Democratic candidates, all accept the science and believe climate change is a threat that demands a response. However, many voters now expect candidates to demonstrate a much higher level of commitment to ambitious and urgent action on climate.

 

So how do we measure climate leadership? It’s easy to do quick tests on pledges and positions. But how do the candidates really stack up against one another? This is the question Climate Advisers’ Democratic Candidates Climate Race seeks to answer by looking at four key criteria:

 

Observations after Fifth Update:

 

Based on our criteria, here are the current standings (19 November 2019):

 

Candidate

 Overall

Mandate Building

Proposed Policy

Past Policy

Fossil Fuel Pledge

Bernie Sanders

1

1

T1

4

Y

Elizabeth Warren

2

3

2

5

Y

Kamala Harris

3

6

9

1

Y

Tom Steyer

4

2

T1

T7

Y

Joe Biden

5

4

T3

T7

Y

Amy Klobuchar

6

T7

T5

3

Y

Pete Buttigieg

7

5

T5

T7

Y

Andrew Yang

8

T7

T5

T7

Y

Cory Booker

9

9

T10

2

Y

Tulsi Gabbard

10

10

T10

6

Y

The race is on

As the primary continues to unfold, there’s time for candidates to improve their position in the race. With that in mind, the race is split into a series of legs that will finish before key milestones on the journey to the convention, such as the first televised debate, the Iowa Caucus and Super Tuesday. If a candidate finishes poorly, she or he has the chance to improve in the next leg.

 

Delve deeper

Methodology

Data

Past Standings 

Initial Standings – 17 May 2019

First Update – 4 June 2019

Second Update– 24 June 2019

Third Update– 25 July 2019

Fourth Update– 4 September 2019

 

Candidates’ Rankings Will be Updated Prior to Each of the Following Milestones: 

December 2019 TBD- Sixth DNC Debate

3 February 2020- Iowa caucuses

11 February 2020 – New Hampshire primary

3 March 2020 – Super Tuesday

 

Please direct inquiries to Ben Simonds, Director of Communications, simonds@climateadvisers.com