Government

Pete Buttigieg climate change plan includes farms, rural America

Pete Buttigieg (center) discusses the impact of Cedar River flooding in 2008 and 2016 with state Sen. Rob Hogg, Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker and former Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston during a Sept. 2 walking tour of the NewBo-Czech Village area of Cedar Rapids. The South Bend, Ind., mayor’s campaign is airing a television ad outlining his plans to combat climate change. (James Q. Lynch/Gazette Des Moines Bureau)
Pete Buttigieg (center) discusses the impact of Cedar River flooding in 2008 and 2016 with state Sen. Rob Hogg, Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker and former Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston during a Sept. 2 walking tour of the NewBo-Czech Village area of Cedar Rapids. The South Bend, Ind., mayor’s campaign is airing a television ad outlining his plans to combat climate change. (James Q. Lynch/Gazette Des Moines Bureau)

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination is airing a television ad calling for action to combat climate change.

In the 30-second ad, which will run statewide in Iowa, the South Bend, Ind., mayor argues that climate change is “too important for us to allow it to keep being a divisive and partisan issue.”

“The solutions aren’t going to come from Washington,” he says in the ad, which includes footage of his walking tour of flood-damaged areas in Cedar Rapids earlier this year. It also includes scenes from a climate change roundtable discussion with Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area elected officials, educators and activists.

“For too long, rural America has been ignored in the climate conversation — or worse, told that whole regions and ways of life are a part of the problem,” Buttigieg says in his plan, Mobilizing America: Rising to the Climate Challenge.

“Pitting rural America against the rest of the country has allowed climate change deniers, corporate polluters and their enablers in Congress to roll back critical environmental protections and impede climate progress,” he says. “At the same time, farmers are increasingly harmed by climate-linked extreme weather.”

Many farmers in Iowa have lost a growing season because of 2019 flooding.

Farmers, according to the Buttigieg plan, will be leaders in combating climate change “by pioneering climate-smart farming techniques, providing our energy sector with renewable biofuels and being good stewards of the land so future generations can continue to thrive.”

In the plan, Buttigieg envisions eliminating greenhouse gas pollution and restoring American leadership under the Paris Climate Agreement to put the world on a path to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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The plan calls for coalitions across the country, while creating new American jobs and exporting U.S. climate innovations to the rest of the world. His plan, he says, would create more than 3 million high-paying, clean-energy jobs over the next decade and ensure that the United States has a zero-emissions electrical system by 2035.

Buttigieg will be back in Iowa on Sunday for the United Food and Commercial Workers forum in Altoona that will draw union members from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Washington state.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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