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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.

Taiwan leader confirms U.S. troops on island training forces

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei earlier this month. Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the island for training purposes and she has "faith" the U.S. would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack.

Why it matters: This is the first time a Taiwanese leader has publicly acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the self-governing island since the last U.S. garrison left in 1979, when Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing.