Fact Check: Kamala Harris Did NOT Suggest That 'Reducing Population' Is Climate Change Movement's Goal On July 14, 2023 --- She Meant 'Reduce Pollution'

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Kamala Harris Did NOT Suggest That 'Reducing Population' Is Climate Change Movement's Goal On July 14, 2023 --- She Meant 'Reduce Pollution' Misspoke

Did Vice President Kamala Harris give a speech to say reducing population is a goal of the climate change movement? No, that's not true: While she did say the words "reduce population," a While House official confirmed to Lead Stories that the intended word was "pollution," and a correction made in the White House transcript reflects that. In her speech on July 14, 2023, Harris' remarks focused on incentives to reduce greenhouse emissions in the United States, not on the climate change movement as a whole or its global goals.

The story appeared in a post published on Instagram on July 15, 2023. It said:

Now do you understand why they are obsessed with aborting as many babies as possible? These people are sick and evil and I say that with zero exaggeration🇺🇸

The post contained what looked like a screenshot of another entry on social media saying:

Kamala just said that "reducing population" is a goal of the climate change movement

They aren't hiding it anymore

YOU are the carbon they want to eliminate

True evil

This is what it looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-07-17 at 9.57.44 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Jul 17 13:57:44 2023 UTC)

The small-screen video included in the shared post showed a blurred female figure wearing a white suit while standing at the podium in what looked like an official setting. She says:

Think about the impact on something like public health. When we invest in clean energy and electric vehicles and reduce population, more of our children can breathe clean air and drink clean water.

A longer version of the recording on C-SPAN shows that the female speaker is indeed Kamala Harris. The fragment in question begins at the 17:14 mark, and the vice president does pronounce the phrase "reduce population," but given that the same sentence also discusses "more of our children," it appears to be an unintended mistake.

A White House official told Lead Stories over the phone on July 17, 2023:

I can confirm that the vice president intended to say pollution.

The White House official also added that the correction in the White House transcript was made in a way that acknowledges that the word "population" was said, but it was crossed out because what was meant to be said was "pollution."

Here is what the correction looked on the White House website like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-07-17 at 4.11.22 PM.png

(Source: White House screenshot taken on Mon Jul 17 20:11:22 2023 UTC)

The word "population" never appears in the transcript again, and the points made just before the quote in question make it clear that the core objective of the speech was not to link the climate change movement with the purportedly plotted population reduction but to discuss economic measures aimed at decreasing greenhouse emissions, not population:

Imagine, for example, the small-business owner who will now be able to receive zero-interest loans to electrify their fleet of delivery vehicles so we can reduce pollution and save on gas.

Imagine, for example -- (applause) -- right? Imagine, for example, the house of worship that will now be able to have access to loan guarantees so they can install solar panels on the roof of their building -- (applause) -- to generate affordable clean electricity for the entire neighborhood. Imagine.

You know, when President Biden and I took office, we set an ambitious goal. Yes, people said, "That can't be done." We said, "Well, you know what? We believe in dreaming with ambition and then seeing it thorough."

And so, we set an ambitious goal to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The investment we are announcing today will help us to achieve these goals, and it will do so much more, because think also about the impact on not only the local economy, not only on an investment in the entrepreneurs and innovators from and in the community.

This mistake is the only time when the phrase "reduce population" ever appeared on the Biden White House website, as of this writing.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about claims involving Kamala Harris can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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