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Is Joe Biden a Climate Radical Now?

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Joe Biden may have stumbled into supporting one of the most radical climate proposals of the primary.

The moment came in an interview, published Friday, with members of The New York Times’ Editorial Board, which has been conducting a series of sit-downs with Democratic primary candidates. After a rambling discussion of the recently-passed U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement’s (USMCA) enforcement mechanisms (“I’ve not read them yet. O.K.?” Biden responded), New York Times writer Binyamin Appelbaum asked Biden if he thought “Democrats should vote for an agreement that does not affirm the Paris accord and does not contain any binding commitments to deal with climate change.” In essence, he was asking whether Democrats should vote for a deal like the USMCA, which many Democrats supported this past week in the Senate and Joe Biden backed on the campaign trail.

“Look,” Biden answered vaguely, “it’s like saying would you sign an agreement with Turkey on a base closure because it didn’t have that in it? It depends on if it’s related to climate. Absolutely they should be part of it.”

He pointed to China. “China, in fact, in their ‘Belt and Road’ proposal is in fact exporting more dirty coal around the world and is subsidizing more than anybody in the world.” That’s not all true. While China is by far the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter and dominant coal producer, Australia is its top coal exporter. The United States is fourth. China is ninth. What Biden was likely referring to was China’s generous state subsidies for coal........

© New Republic