Trump and Biden faced off on global climate change in the first extensive discussion of the issue in a presidential debate in 20 years.
Watch the moment from the debate in the player above.
Biden sounded the alarm for the world to address a warming climate, as Trump took credit for pulling the U.S. out of a major international accord to do just that. Trump asserted he was trying to save American jobs, while taking credit for some of the cleanest air and water the nation has seen in generations — some of it a holdover of regulations passed by his predecessor.
Biden, tapping into an issue of particular importance to his base, called for massive investment to create new environmentally friendly industries. “Our health and our jobs are at stake,” he said.
Biden and Trump also sparred over the nation’s reliance on oil — and what needs to be done to reduce future emissions.
During the presidential debate Thursday, Biden said the U.S. needs to embrace clean energy and eventually transition away from the use of oil.
Trump quickly pounced, cutting in, “That’s a big statement,” and wondered aloud if voters in oil-producing states like Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania were listening.
Biden said that his plan was far more nuanced than Trump was making it sound and emphasized that the transition would be gradual. He also criticized Trump for subsidizing the oil industry while failing to give similar benefit to clean energy producers, like wind power and solar.
Trump and Biden debated for just over 90 minutes at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday night. The faceoff included substantive debate on a number of topics including the response to the coronavirus pandemic, immigration and how each would handle climate change as president.