Climate Power 2020 Seeks to Change the Politics of Climate Change

Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Sierra Club announced the launch of Climate Power 2020an independently run campaign dedicated to changing the politics of climate in 2020. One of the group’s stated goals is to dispel misinformation put out by the Trump campaign on issues like the Green New Deal.

Going forward, Climate Power 2020 will focus on the swing states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and as John Podesta, former White House senior advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama explained, 

“Climate Power 2020 will [push] all candidates to aggressively campaign on climate action and [hold] science-denying campaigns accountable.” 

Why This Matters: The Trump campaign had hoped to run on a thriving economy in 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic has now made that impossible. So their next best tactic will be misinformation and making Democrats look frivolous for supporting climate action and green jobs as part of the coronavirus recovery effort. But, as E&E News explained, “Joe Biden is beating President Trump among older voters, and some observers think that edge could give him an opening to pursue a more aggressive climate platform. There’s a big opportunity to make climate an integral part of the 2020 election, but being organized and strategic with messaging will be key.

Climate in 2020: Before the COVID-19 pandemic sent the economy into a tailspin, 2020 was set to be a monumental year for climate change in the context of the presidential election (and in down-ballot races as well). Economic recovery will surely be a key priority for voters in November but elections don’t happen in a vacuum.

That’s to say that 2020 also is forecasted to have an especially strong Atlantic hurricane season as well as the potential to have longer California wildfire season–climate change will surely affect millions of voters around the nation. But climate change doesn’t stop for pandemics and Democratic candidates will have to find a way to push the importance of climate action while also making the case that they have the best ideas for an equitable economic recovery.

Luckily, the Green New Deal is basically a massive economic recovery plan by design. However Democratic candidates need to have a unified message around the GND and emphasize its job-creating opportunities–that’s what can make Climate Power 2020 and important group to coordinate this messaging. 

The Bottom Line: Four more years of a Trump presidency will be once of the most disastrous things to happen to our planet–as that will likely ensure we’re locked into decades of fossil fuels. It’s truly a make-or-break moment and everyone concerned with the climate crisis logically should focus on electing Joe Biden. This means courting the youth vote and ensuring young people have a seat at the table as climate policy decisions are being made–another potential place for Climate Power 2020 to organize and galvanize.

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