The first debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden took place on September 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, and was moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace. The clash, which lasted 90 minutes, saw the two candidates facing off against one another directly. The debate involved topics such as the coronavirus pandemic, Supreme Court nomination, racial violence, health care system, economy, recession and the two candidates' records.
The presidential aspirants talked over each other and lobbed insults in a breath-taking political brawl where Biden even called Trump a "clown" and asked him to "shut up". Wallace had to intervene multiple times to control the debate.
The moderator introduced the topic of Climate Change during the debate. At one point, Biden said: "The green new deal will pay for itself as we move forward. We're not going to build plants that, in fact, are great polluting plants." To which Wallace asked, "You support the green new deal?" and Biden answered, "No, I don't support the green new deal."
Trump took this opportunity to take a jibe at Biden, "Oh, you don't? That's a big statement. You just lost the radical left. Oh, you don't." Biden hit back by saying, "I support the Biden plan that I put forward. The Biden plan, which is different than what he calls the radical green new deal."
Biden's recent statement on the Green New Bill during the debate was discussed on social media, with many Twitter users weighing in on his remarks. One user wrote, "Hope they fact-checked Biden saying he didn't support the Green New Deal when it said otherwise on his own website."
One user tweeted, "Biden said the Green New Deal will pay for itself but that he doesn't support it." Another one claimed, "Tonight's debate exposed the DNC's failed election strategy of taking progressive voters for granted to chase Republican voters because Trump solidified his base tonight while Biden was busy saying he doesn't support Medicare for All or a Green New Deal. #Debates2020."
"Trump made him walk back his positions on the Green New Deal and Policing lmao its over fellas stop tellin us to vote," said another user. One Twitter user wrote, "Biden offered no substance or energy. He hurt himself w/ radical Dem support in these issues: Green New Deal, Sanders Manifesto, no Law&Order, Packing the Court, shutting down economy, you Clown, shut up, etc...DJT didn't sell accomplishments! Vote DJT/GOP platform 4MorYrs."
What is the Green New Deal?
According to The New York Times, The Green New Deal is a congressional proposition that offers a plan for battling climate change. The environmental legislation was introduced by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward J Markey of Massachusetts in 2019 before being defeated in the senate. It suggests that the federal government stop the US from fossil fuels and limit planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy. The focus is to guarantee new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries. The proposal also focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid devastating consequences of climate change. It also tried to focus on problems such as economic inequality and racial injustice. The environmental plan had pointed out a "10-year mobilization" to reduce carbon emissions in the country.
The plan visualized sourcing 100 percent of the country's electricity from renewable and zero-emissions power, upgrading buildings in the nation to be more energy-efficient, and renovating the transportation system by investing in electric vehicles. According to NYT, the resolution is nonbinding, so even if the Congress approves it, nothing in the proposal would become law. The NYT also reported that different versions of the proposal have been around for years including Think tanks, the Green Party, and even New York Times columnist Thomas L Friedman have had plans for tackling climate change that were labelled as a Green New Deal.
As per a June 2019 report in The Washington Post, Biden included the framework of the Green New Deal for his campaign. His website also mentioned, "Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) The United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected."
Biden's running mate Kamala Harris had earlier also released a statement on her website in March saying: "Climate change is an existential threat and confronting it requires bold action. I'm a proud co-sponsor of Senator Markey's Green New Deal resolution. Political stunts won't get us anywhere. Combatting this crisis first requires the Republican majority to stop denying science and finally admit that climate change is real and humans are the dominant cause. Then we can get serious about taking action to tackle the climate crisis at the scale of the problem."