Buttigieg plans to task Defense Department with fighting climate change

(CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg released a sweeping plan to fight climate change on Wednesday, calling the issue “the security challenge of our time” and tasking the Department of Defense with addressing it.

In a new policy proposal released Wednesday morning ahead of a 10-candidate CNN town hall focused on the issue, Buttigieg calls for a “Climate Watch Floor” set up under the Department of Defense, which his campaign said would put the crisis front and center and make it an urgent priority. The plan also creates a new senior climate security role within the department.

The proposal, which draws from some existing plans like President Barack Obama’s Smart Cities Initiative, calls for net zero emissions by 2050, the creation of 3 million clean energy and infrastructure jobs over 10 years and “a bold and achievable Green New Deal,” the ambitious and controversial proposal sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and a host of other left-leaning Democrats.

The plan will cost $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion plus a significant investment in modernizing infrastructure, according to a campaign spokesperson. These federal investments will leverage tens of trillions of dollars in private, state and local investments, the spokesperson said.

Climate change is a preeminent issue in the Democratic nomination fight, with nearly all the candidates releasing plans to address rising global temperatures and harsher weather, and stressing the issue’s importance. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who dropped out of the race in August, made the crisis central to his campaign.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, regularly addresses the issue on the stump. As Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas and now takes aim at the Southeast coast of the US, he linked the storm to climate change, telling reporters, “This has gone from a possibility to a prediction to a reality to an emergency, and shame on anybody who doesn’t have a plan to deal with it.”

The storm will surely leave Americans with damage to their properties and in need of funds to get back on their feet. In his plan, Buttigieg proposes National Catastrophic Extreme Weather Insurance, where families would be able to purchase coverage “based on risk and location from private insurers, regulated by the federal government,” and would be partly subsidized by the federal government depending on income level.

Source: CNN Politics

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