California Senator has previously slammed President Trump's scientific illiteracy and backed plans for a $10tr net zero investment drive
Joe Biden yesterday announced California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, in a move that received plaudits from across the Democratic Party and looks set to further bolster the climate credentials of the Presidential campaign.
Confirming the move on Twitter, Biden described Harris as "a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants".
In 2010 Harris became the first Black woman to be elected as California attorney general, before her election to the Senate in 2016 where she carved out a reputation as an influential member of the Judiciary Committee, probing the many scandals to engulf the Trump administration. She has now become the first woman of colour to appear on a Presidential ticket.
She is widely regarded as a centrist and attracted criticism from left-leaning Democrats during the race for the nomination, where she faced off with Biden and other high profile figures such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
However, Harris has embraced a number of causes that are seen as progressive priorities, including action on climate change.
During the campaign for the nomination, she unveiled plans for a $10tr climate investment blitz designed to deliver a net zero emission economy.
"As president, I will hold polluters accountable for the damage they inflict upon our environment and set us on a path to a 100 per cent clean economy that creates millions of good-paying jobs," Harris said in a statement. "This crisis demands urgency and boldness, and as president, I will act."
Back in 2019, she attacked Trump's record on climate change and highlighted the economic benefits that come from climate action, declaring: "Climate change is an existential threat. We currently have a president in the White House who obviously does not understand the science. Trump thinks wind turbines cause cancer, but, in fact, they cause jobs."
Significantly, Harris has also embraced environmental justice principles, highlighting her record of tackling polluters as attorney general and recently working with progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to introduce a Climate Equity Act in Congress.
As such, Harris' nomination was welcomed across the Democratic Party, with centrists and progressives alike hailing the move.
Former President Barack Obama tweeted that "I've known Senator Kamala Harris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She's spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let's go win this thing."
Meanwhile, Sanders praised Harris, declaring that "she understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history".
The news comes just days after the Trump administration further underlined the different approach to environmental issues from the two candidates for the White House, by controversially moving to axe regulations limiting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas estimated to have a global warming potential more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and forms a major share of the oil and gas industry's direct emissions due to gas pipeline leaks and flaring.
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