The US Election 2020: Where the candidates stand on energy, climate and the environment

As we countdown the days until the November 3 US election, incumbent President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden have outlined their policies and plans in their bid to sway the US public to vote for them.

We have run the rule over the two candidates and their positions on energy and electricity, climate change and action to be taken towards the environment.


 Climate and the environment are key cornerstones of Joe Biden’s campaign and he has announced a number of policies, courses of action and deadlines to achieve this.

Energy: Biden has outlined a plan to overhaul the energy system and achieve 100 per cent emissions-free power by 2035. That includes a pledge to install $2 trillion in clean energy infrastructure. He has also announced plans to build 1.5 million new energy-efficient homes and social housing units. He plans to tax the rich to achieve this goal.

Climate: The Green New Deal has become a hot topic again with its goal to have the US running solely on renewable energy by 2030. Biden has distanced himself from this proposed Greens policy, though, but he has outlined the Clean Energy Revolution which uses the Green New Deal framework for the country to be emissions-free by 2050 and for the electricity sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2035.

Environment: Biden has promised to take action against fossil fuel companies and other polluters who put profit over people’ and knowingly pollute air, land and water. This extends to companies that conceal information about environmental and health risks. He has promised to deliver safe drinking water to communities like Flint, Michigan.



POTUS Donald Trump has been very active in 2020 to roll back legislation and put his own stamp on the future of America’s energy production and consumption plans. While his plan is centred around economic recovery post-COVID-19, he claims his government is also taking action against climate change.

Energy: Trump has been vocally opposed to renewable energy sources and rolled back former President Barrack Obama’s Clean Power Plan stating: “It was driving energy prices through the sky”. He has also opposed wind energy farms saying that windmills: “destroy our countryside” and “manufactured tremendous fumes”.

Climate: Trump has conceded, for the first time, that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change – but only “to an extent”. He said during the Presidential Debate that his government was taking action by planting one billion trees and rolling our forest management to prevent fires so that the US could have: “immaculate air, immaculate water and do whatever else we can that’s good”.

Environment: In August, Donald Trump rolled back the last of Obama’s environmental laws which means oil and gas companies no longer have to detect or repair methane leaks. During his term, Trump has rolled back most of the legislation put in place to prevent carbon emissions and has pushed forward with new pipelines, allowed more drilling and relaxed wilderness protection.