Democratic Presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday in New York. (Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press)

Democratic Presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday in New York. (Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press)

Inslee: Build U.S. foreign policy around climate crisis

By Bill Barrow

The Associated Press

Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee wants the U.S. to shape all foreign policy decisions around a commitment to combat the climate crisis, including willingness to use tariffs, other trade incentives and international finance rules to compel other nations to reduce carbon pollution.

“Our goal is to re-establish American leadership in the fight against climate crisis and use all the tools in the international relations toolbox,” Inslee told The Associated Press.

That vision could involve butting heads with China, the world’s leading carbon polluter, and leading oil producers including Russia and Saudi Arabia.

But Inslee said the crisis demands a tough approach.

“We certainly have an obligation not only to ask but to use mechanisms to put pressure on that direction,” he said.

The Washington governor is outlining his agenda Wednesday in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

His proposals, posted on his campaign website, start with keeping the U.S. in the United Nations climate pact of 2015. President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris agreement.

Inslee said the Paris standards are not enough. He also would have the U.S. join an international alliance that calls for phasing out coal plant pollution by 2030 and increase U.S financial commitments to alliances focused on climate action.

He frames the world’s growing migrant crisis as a part of a changing climate and an international economy anchored to fossil fuels, as extreme weather and other climate effects force people to migrate “in search of food, water, shelter or to avoid conflict.”

He calls for focusing international development funds to building local economies in nations most affected by climate changes and economic instability.

Inslee praised China for its domestic efforts to reduce carbon pollution. But he noted that China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” an infrastructure development effort that would expand trade and transportation routes across Asia to Europe and Africa, doesn’t involve the same commitments to reducing pollutants.

“It doesn’t solve the problem for China to do big investments in clean energy domestically, which they are doing … and then spoil that progress by building coal plants, dozens or hundreds, around the world,” Inslee said.

More in Politics

League of Women Voters set live, online candidate forums

Lieutenant governor forum slated for today

Kilmer comments on Snake River dams

Rep. Derek Kilmer said any decision on the breaching… Continue reading

EYE ON PENINSULA: CARES funding considered in Clallam County

Port Townsend looks to open streets for businesses

Special Jefferson County commissioners meeting today

The Jefferson County commissioners will discuss COVID-19 status with… Continue reading

EYE ON CONGRESS: House to vote to extend surveillance procedures

The House will vote this week on extending the Foreign… Continue reading

Coffee with the Mayor to be broadcast

Mayor William Armacost will host Coffee with the Mayor at… Continue reading

Primary battles line up in 2020 elections

State Rep. Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend has a primary battle on… Continue reading

Kilmer draws four opponents for congressional seat

The top-two Aug. 4 primary for the 6th Congressional District seat held… Continue reading

Third opponent files against Kilmer for Congressional seat

Chris Welton making first campaign as a candidate for elective office

Candidate: COVID-19 changes election season

Social-distancing guidelines could severely limit forums