The Candidates and Climate Change: A Guide to Key Policy Positions

  • September 30, 2008

For the first time, both major party candidates for the presidency are deeply concerned about global climate change and publicly support a mandatory, economy-wide cap-and-trade system for reducing the U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to global climate change. Global climate change now occupies a place of unprecedented importance in American politics, as the debate has advanced beyond the causes of global climate change to the actions needed to address it. This guide outlines key climate positions of Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, examines the records of their respective vice-presidential nominees, and details relevant portions of the Republican and Democratic Party platforms, with links to related resources focused on critical climate change policy issues.

As a non-partisan policy center, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change will not be endorsing a specific candidate, and will be working to inform the policies of whoever is elected president. This brief guide discusses a few notable details of the presidential contenders' plans to combat global climate change. A detailed, bullet-point summary of the candidates' policies is contained in the appendix.  

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions site.