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Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Getty Images photos: Ethan Miller and Brian Blanco

The six "unity" task forces that the Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders put together unveiled their policy recommendations yesterday.

The big picture: Big climate ideas include setting "technology-neutral" standards to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035, and a goal of achieving net-zero emissions in all new buildings by 2030.

  • The climate task force was co-chaired by former Secretary of State John Kerry, who backed Biden in the primary, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who backed Sanders.
  • The document they produced are suggestions for the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee platform, so we'll see what's picked up. But it's hard to imagine all this huffing and puffing if it was going to just be shelved.

The intrigue: There's a lot more in the document, including a heavy emphasis on environmental justice, but what caught my attention is what yesterday's rollout says about where climate politics are at right now.

  • Like last week's detailed ideas from Nancy Pelosi-aligned House Democrats, the recommendations stop short of what the Sanders-AOC orbit wants in a climate blueprint. For instance, as Reuters notes, there's no fracking ban.
  • And like last week's unveiling, the new plan did not cause a flare-up in intra-left tensions over policy.
  • Varshini Prakash of the pro-Sanders Sunrise Movement, who was on the task force, said nice things about the result while vowing to keep pushing in some areas.

With Biden up in the polls and a chance for Democrats to regain the Senate too, there's little interest in dust-ups ahead of the election when there's a chance of opening a small window for climate legislation.

  • And the party establishment has actually moved pretty far left on climate already (probably well beyond what could ever be enacted, but that's another story), and that will be even more true if these new goals are adopted.
  • Finally, the upstart Sunrise Movement has adjusted its tactical posture in recent months (remember this is a group that in late 2019 claimed Biden's climate plan, which is vastly more aggressive than anything contemplated under Obama, was an "F-").

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Oct 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden's diverse Cabinet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

If Joe Biden wins the presidency, his advisers plan to assemble the most diverse Cabinet in U.S. history as he works to fulfill a pledge to build the Democratic Party on a new generation of leaders.

The big picture: Many of Biden's longtime aides, most of whom are white and male, are expected to follow him to the West Wing. That means the pressure will be on to recruit a Cabinet that's both younger and more diverse.

Oct 15, 2020 - Science

How to build forests to combat climate change

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Trees can help to combat climate change, but determining what to plant and where is complex — and whether to plant them at all is a growing debate.

The big picture: Protecting, planting and restoring forests can help offset global warming, but experts stress that greenhouse gas emissions still have to be dramatically cut to reach climate goals for the planet.

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."