Washington Gov. Jay Inslee joined the crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders on Friday with a vow to make the global climate crisis the centerpiece of his campaign.

“I’m running for president because I’m the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation’s number one priority,” Inslee declares in a campaign announcement video shared on social media.

“We’re the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we’re the last that can do something about it,” he says in the video. “This crisis isn’t just a chart or graph anymore. The impacts are being felt everywhere.”

Inslee calls for implementing elements of the Green New Deal—introduced last month by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)—without specifically mentioning the congressional resolution that is co-sponsored by the six senators running for president and dozens of other Democratic lawmakers.

Asked by Vox‘s David Roberts in a wide-ranging interview published Friday whether he has endorsed the Green New Deal, which aims to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers,” Inslee said:

As the campaign video shows, the governor has a long track record of advocating for actions to address the human-caused climate crisis. In 2007, while he represented Washington’s 1st District in the U.S. House, Inslee released a book titled Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy, co-written with Bracken Hendricks.

“We should do what I said we should do in my book: a major industrial transformation to decarbonize the U.S. economy that will result in millions of new jobs and greater prosperity,” Inslee told Roberts. “Unfortunately, no movies were made of my book [laughter] and it didn’t capture people’s imagination in 2007.”


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