The theme of night two of the 2020 Democratic National Convention was “Leadership Matters.” With scientists warning of a dramatically closing window to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, the need for new leadership in the White House to protect our communities and our environment has never been more urgent. And last night, we were thrilled to watch Joe Biden become the official Democratic nominee for President of the United States. It is clear that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the leaders we need. Both have strong records fighting for climate and environmental justice and have put forward ambitious visions for a just and equitable clean energy future.
Throughout the night we heard from so many incredible leaders who share that same vision. During the Roll Call, many states used the opportunity to relay the importance of addressing the climate crisis before reporting their state delegates’ votes.
Here are some of the most notable quotes from the night:
- Leader Chuck Schumer, on if we elect Joe Biden and elect a Democratic Senate majority: “…[W]e’ll take strong decisive action to combat climate change and save the planet.”
- Secretary John Kerry, on the achievements of the Obama-Biden administration to open his remarks: “…we forged a 195-nation agreement to attack climate change.” He also said, “Trump understands none of the issues of this world, not nuclear weapons, not the challenge of building back better after COVID, not terrorism, certainly not the climate crisis, none can be solved without bringing nations together with strength and humility.”
- Senator Gary Peters, one of LCV Action Fund’s endorsed candidates, where we played a key role in his 2014 victory, and UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, on Biden’s efforts to save and transform the auto industry: “Michigan auto workers are the best in the world. But we’d be nowhere without Joe Biden. And a lot of folks wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. But Joe Biden believed in us and together we fought to save our auto industry…Now he’s got a plan to create a million new auto jobs by investing in clean energy. Joe Biden believes in American workers. He’s got our back and we’ve got his.”
- Secretary Hilda Solis and Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California: “Climate change is not a hoax, it’s real, and communities of color have been bearing the brunt of this reality for generations…Joe Biden’s plan to crack down on polluters, to protect our air and water is about environmental justice and economic justice. He’ll prioritize equity and bring new clean energy jobs to Black and brown neighborhoods because that is how we build back better.”
- Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes of Wisconsin, who was endorsed by LCV’s state affiliate Wisconsin Conservation Voters: “We know that we build a better future for our nation by channeling Wisconsin’s legacy as the birthplace of the labor and the progressive movements and uniting around a bold, inclusive agenda that uplifts every community in the pursuit of a more just future, one that recognizes health care as a human right, one that tackles the climate crisis and takes on racial and economic injustice.”
- Boise, Idaho Mayor Lauren McLean, who was endorsed by LCV’s state affiliate Conservation Voters of Idaho Action Fund in her mayoral race, playing a key role in her election: “We’re not waiting for Washington to act on climate change. Here in Boise, we know that clean energy doesn’t just mean a healthier planet, it means good-paying jobs. Imagine what we can do with a president that listens to science and leads with courage.” Find out more about Mayor McLean’s climate plans.
- State Senator Yvanna Cancela from Nevada, who was endorsed by LCV’s state affiliate Nevada Conservation League PAC in her 2018 campaign, said “Joe Biden will actually enforce Buy American rules, investing in American-made clean energy…all creating more good jobs.”
- State Representative Derrick Lente from New Mexico, who is endorsed by LCV’s state affiliate Conservation Voters of New Mexico Action Fund: “New Mexico is a diverse state, home to 23 Indigenous sovereign nations with a rich multicultural history. We are all united by the love of this beautiful place that we call home. And we believe that we owe it to the next generation to protect the natural and cultural resources that are their inheritance. And to that end also respect tribal sovereignty.”
- President Jonathan Nez, Navajo Nation: “Joe has a major plan to invest in clean energy jobs and infrastructure.”
- Veteran, fisherman, and party activist from Alaska Chuck Degnan: “The waters we rely on to feed our families and make a living are threatened by climate change. When Joe Biden was Vice President, he and President Obama made sure Alaska’s tribes had a say on how these waters were managed. Donald Trump took it away. We must elect a president who will respect our voices, protect our waters and address climate change.”
Make sure to read this op-ed on Biden’s climate plan and how we fight for climate and environmental justice from LCV Board Chair Carol M. Browner and Harold Mitchell, founder of the ReGenesis Community Development Corporation and former South Carolina state representative, who both serve on Vice President Biden’s Climate Engagement Advisory Council.
We also want to share this New York Times article on the important role that climate donors are playing in helping the Biden-Harris campaign compete with Trump’s fossil fuel donors, including the record-breaking funds raised through GiveGreen, the climate candidate fundraising platform by LCV Victory Fund and NextGen America with support from NRDC Action Fund PAC.
We’re looking forward to even more climate content tonight as well as Senator Kamala Harris’ acceptance speech as she makes history as the vice presidential nominee. As you prepare for her to take the stage, listen to LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld’s interview with Living On Earth on NPR and check out LCV Action Fund’s statement on Senator Harris’ nomination as well as the statement from LCV Board Chair Carol M. Browner.
Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, www.lcvactionfund.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee”) and treat as an Action Fund OE