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Democrats Try to Outdo One Another on Climate: Balance of Power


Jun 5, 2019 by Kathleen Hunter

(Bloomberg)

Democrats seeking to unseat Donald Trump see an opportunity in the U.S. president’s refusal to embrace scientific evidence that man-made climate change would have devastating effects.

With voters increasingly tuned in to the environment, the party’s 2020 presidential candidates are proposing solutions that would have been viewed as politically unthinkable just four years ago.

As Ari Natter reports, a crowded field of candidates are trying to outdo one another on who is greener. That explains why front-runner Joe Biden — whose policies generally hew more to the political center — released an ambitious plan yesterday that seeks to achieve 100% clean energy and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Biden’s Democratic rivals have tried to paint him as weak on the issue and beholden to Obama administration policies they consider too timid. Other candidates are trumpeting expansive plans that go far beyond the policies of Trump’s predecessor.

But there’s a risk. While such proposals are likely to draw strong support from progressives, they could make Democrats less palatable to the blue-collar and Midwestern voters who fear the impact of tough climate rules on jobs and the economy.

Global Headlines

Trump’s trip | The U.S. president continued to make news on Day 3 of his European tour, telling Good Morning, Britain’s Piers Morgan there’s “always a chance” of the U.S. taking military action in Iran, though he’d prefer to engage verbally with President Hassan Rouhani.

Trump, who’s on England’s south coast for D-Day commemoration events before traveling on to Ireland, also said he would “seriously look” at banning gun silencers after last week’s mass shooting in Virginia. After Ireland, it’s France, where the U.S. president’s popularity is on the rise, according to a new poll.Poker face | Republican lawmakers eager to halt a new round of tariffs on Mexican goods have spent days urging the Trump administration to negotiate a solution with Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government. But Trump has shown no interest in a quick face-saving deal, warning on Twitter that he’s not “bluffing” in his threat to impose 5% levies on all imports from the U.S.’s largest trading partner starting June 10.Democratic shift? | Thai lawmakers will all but certainly pick former junta chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha as prime minister during a vote today, ensuring the military retains its grip on power in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy. The general got a boost when Thailand’s oldest political party, known as the Democrat Party, said it would back the military-aligned coalition.Billionaire under fire | Joining a wave of anti-government outrage sweeping the European Union’s eastern wing, more than 120,000 protesters gathered in Prague yesterday in the Czech Republic’s biggest demonstrations since the 1989 Velvet Revolution. They’re calling for the resignation of billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who has run afoul of the EU’s executive over aid funds and is facing potential criminal fraud charges at home.Crude criminals | Just as Nigeria gets a grip on militants who once brought the nation’s oil industry to its knees, another group is making a comeback: thieves. While there have been no militant-related halts to operations since 2016, saboteurs caused an 80% increase in the number of spills in 2018 and siphoned about 100,000 barrels a day from pipelines into make-shift refineries, undermining the country’s biggest source of export income.

What to Watch

The EU Commission is due to report on the state of public finances of its members, and Italy is braced for disciplinary measures over is mounting government debt. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will have his first chance to break an impasse in a deepening trade war with China this weekend at an international summit in Japan. Russian President Vladimir Putin holds talks in Moscow today with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who’ll also travel to St Petersburg for an economic forum during a three-day visit.And finally… Denmark may be about to get its youngest ever prime minister as voters look set to pick a left-leaning government led by 41-year-old Mette Frederiksen. The Social Democrat leader would join a wave of young women in office, including New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern (38), Slovak President Zuzana Caputova (45), Icelandic Premier Katrin Jakobsdottir (43) Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic (43), and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid (49).



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