Climate change is one of the hotter subjects for Democratic hopefuls in the upcoming 2020 campaign season, and a few of the candidates might have a difficult time explaining why their records on the issue aren’t on the same level as others.
According to The Hill, new ranking data from Greenpeace shows that former Vice President Joe Biden scored a last place ranking among Democratic presidential candidates for his climate record, tied with former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan.
Biden, Hickenlooper, and Ryan all received a D-minus grade, according to the Greenpeace results.
The grading system Greenpeace used looked at statements on climate change, legislative action, survey responses, and published plans.
“Greenpeace asked the 2020 candidates how they’ll act on the climate crisis if they become president. Here’s what they said… or didn’t say,” the website states before showing the list of rankings. It then asks users to go through each candidate and “praise ’em or shame ’em” on their climate record grades.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Cory Booker both scored top grades, each securing a B-plus. They trailed behind Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who was at the top of the list — and the only candidate in the crowded field to score an A-minus.
The rankings also took into account a candidate’s commitment to refuse donations from the fossil fuel industry. The grading schema also weighed how much backing a particular candidate gave the Green New Deal (GND).
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, famously slammed Biden earlier this year after he famously said he thought they should “find a middle ground” on the GND.
Her response to Biden’s take on the issue was scathing, as reported by CNN.
“I will be d*mned if the same politicians who refused to act (in past decades) are going to try to come back today and say we need a middle of the road approach to save our lives,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a rally, a comment likely aimed directly at Biden.
Biden’s failure to back the Green New Deal — and his lack of commitment to refuse support from the fossil fuel industry — played a heavy role in his failing grade from Greenpeace. That grade may pose a problem for many Democrats, as Biden, according to RealClearPolitics polling data, is maintaining a strong lead against his competitors.
President Donald Trump ranks dead last on the Greenpeace list, having scored an F. His only Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, also received a failing grade of F.