LCV Launches $2M Effort to Elevate Climate Action in 2020 Primary

‘Change the Climate 2020’ includes early state grassroots organizing programs, new online advocacy hub

Washington, D.C. — Today the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) announced a new effort, ‘Change the Climate 2020,’ to elevate climate action in the 2020 presidential primary elections. With an initial investment of $2 million, the Change the Climate 2020 program will call on every candidate to prioritize and publicly commit to an ambitious plan to address the climate crisis and its outsized impact on low-income communities and communities of color on day one as president. A new online advocacy hub, ChangetheClimate2020.com, is the most comprehensive resource to date for the 2020 Democratic presidential field’s positions, statements and updates related to climate change. Change the Climate 2020 organizing staff are on the ground in New Hampshire and Nevada and have already recruited more than 700 grassroots volunteers so far. A South Carolina organizing program will launch soon.

LCV’s Change the Climate 2020 program will encourage every presidential candidate to make climate action a top-tier priority throughout the primary by tracking and publicizing relevant candidate policies and updates at ChangetheClimate2020.com, engaging directly with the candidates and their campaigns, conducting regular polling of primary voters, and telling the stories of people and communities across the country impacted by climate change, especially the low-income communities and communities of color that bear a disproportionate burden of polluters’ unchecked actions. In early states with Change the Climate 2020 organizing programs, organizing staff and volunteers will ask the candidates key climate policy questions at every opportunity.

“LCV is making a major investment in a helping to create a race to the top on climate change in the primary because the 2020 election is our last, best chance to address this crisis once and for all,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. “Scientists have warned that ‘unprecedented’ action is required within the next decade to combat the climate crisis — this is the fight of our lives; we must elect a president who will respond immediately and comprehensively to the warning and forge a path toward a healthy, sustainable and just future for our planet and all who live here.”

“Confronting the climate crisis is a higher priority for voters than ever before and we deserve candidates who are taking it just as seriously,” said Pete Maysmith, LCV Senior Vice President for Campaigns. “The 2020 presidential election is our opportunity to restore and strengthen climate policies rolled back by the current administration, put our country on track to meet bold clean energy goals and build a green economy that works for everyone — every serious candidate owes the voters a plan for how they’ll get us there starting on day one of their presidency.”

In New Hampshire and Nevada, Change the Climate 2020’s organizing teams have recruited more than 700 volunteers who are engaging directly with presidential candidates and their staff on a regular basis. Change the Climate 2020 volunteers have already had direct interactions with a number candidates about their specific plans and prioritization of combating the climate crisis. South Carolina’s program is in the process of staffing up.

“Voters in the early primary and caucus states have unique access to presidential candidates and a responsibility to find out where they stand on the issues we care about — for me that is the climate crisis,” said Garrett Walker, Change the Climate 2020 Volunteer and New Hampshire Voter.

In addition to an in-person organizing program, Change the Climate 2020’s website includes an activist center where voters can call on the candidates to prioritize climate change, sign a petition to be delivered to primary debate moderators requesting that they ask the candidates about climate, share their stories, and more. The activist center will be regularly updated throughout the 2020 campaign.

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Change the Climate 2020 is elevating climate action in the presidential primary elections and ensuring that candidates fully appreciate the scope of the climate crisis, make climate change a top priority, and commit to an ambitious plan to address the crisis on day one as president.  None of the activities conducted through this program are intended to convey endorsement, support or opposition to any particular candidate — the goal is to promote the issue of climate action as described above.

Contact: Emily Samsel, emily_samsel@lcv.org, 202-454-4573

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