RELEASE: Victory for Biden, Congressional Candidates Sends a Strong Message on Need for Federal Climate Action, CAP Column Says

Washington, D.C. — Climate action was on the ballot on November 3, and voters responded by embracing the ambitious agenda that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris put forward to tackle climate change.

A new column from the Center for American Progress shows how voters also elected U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate candidates from states that have already taken aggressive action to combat the climate crisis. These lawmakers will bring the lessons from this state-level response to Washington as the new administration considers administrative and legislative climate action in 2021.

“While the Trump administration spent four years undermining climate action at every step, so many states and local communities have adopted politically popular 100 percent clean energy standards and created clean energy jobs,” said Sally Hardin, interim director for the Energy and Environment War Room at CAP and co-author of the column. “Voters showed that they want these same ideas carried to the federal level to fight the urgent threat of climate change. The 2020 election confirmed climate action is a winning issue at the forefront of Americans’ minds—those of both parties.”

The column highlights elected officials from Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Virginia. These leaders will be a critical voice on federal climate action moving forward.

Leadership at the state and local levels has carried the country through the last four years. Thirteen states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have passed legislation or executive orders to achieve 100 percent clean energy, while nine states have set economywide carbon pollution reductions targets. Half the states—representing more than half the country’s population and 60 percent of the American economy—have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is committed to upholding the Paris agreement’s climate targets.

And polls show that these 100 percent clean energy goals are very popular: Nearly two-thirds of voters in September 2020 said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who supports moving to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.

Read the column: “State Climate Leadership Is Coming to the Nation’s Capital in 2021” by Sally Hardin, Sam Ricketts, and Aimee Barnes

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