It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

Donate

It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

If They Want to Win in November, Democrats Must Take Climate Action

The political math is clear: Democrats must live up to their commitments to voters by passing the climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act.

The American people want climate action, and they want it now. In a recent poll from Politico and Morning Consult, an overwhelming 80% of Americans who labeled themselves left-leaning said that the Biden administration is doing too little to address climate change, including 64% of Democrats surveyed.

The climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA’s) would constitute the single largest investment in climate action in U.S. history, and they’re broadly popular. But negotiations have stalled in the Senate, putting BBBA’s climate provisions in jeopardy. We know that the longer we wait to tackle the climate crisis the more we risk destabilizing the economy and the climate, but Senate Democrats must also acknowledge the political cost of climate inaction. If they fail to deliver BBBA’s $555 billion in climate investments, Democratic leadership will be gambling with their majority.

That’s because climate is a key voting issue for Democrats, and the party must show progress on climate action to drive voter turnout. As legislative priorities pile up and the midterm season approaches, time is running short. The party may need to make hard choices to reach a final deal on the Build Back Better package, but the climate can’t wait. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer must put climate at the top of the Senate’s agenda and reach an agreement to pass a bill with the historic climate provisions in BBBA before President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

Democrats Need Climate Voters in 2022

Climate voters delivered Democrats their governing majority in 2020. That cycle, more Americans cited climate change among their top voting issues than ever before. Young voters in particular consistently cited climate change as a top issue, and exit polls show Biden’s emphasis on bold climate action paid off: Millennials and Gen Z posted record turnout numbers, and voters under 30 supported Biden by 27 points — an 8-point increase over their support for Clinton in 2016. Key Democratic voting blocs, such as young, Latino, and African American voters, are also strongly motivated by the need for ambitious climate action, and Biden’s margins among those groups were critical to his leads in crucial states such as Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

Democrats’ electoral fate depends on their ability to deliver for those voters. If lawmakers fail to pass the Build Back Better Act, 15% of Democrats and nearly a third of Independents (28%) say they will be less motivated to vote for Democrats in the midterm elections. Climate is tied for Black voters’ top priority in infrastructure legislation, meaning failure to pass BBBA will disappoint a core pillar of Democratic support. And notably, the president’s support among young voters—who prioritize climate issues, and helped deliver the president’s victory—dropped to 46% in December 2021, 13 points down from his 59% youth approval in March 2021. That steep drop almost certainly reflects the lost momentum suffered over months of protracted Congressional deliberations. To regain momentum, and voters’ trust, Democrats must act.

Voters Want Climate Action

Democrats won their majority with a pledge to tackle the climate crisis head-on. On election night, President Biden declared that his mandate was to “marshal the forces of science in the great battles of our time... The battle to save our planet, and get our climate under control.” Majority Leader Schumer declared in August 2020 that “When Democrats retake the majority in the Senate, we will unify to move swiftly on legislation to tackle the climate crisis. Passing climate legislation will be a top priority for Senate Democrats and for me.”

In the upcoming midterm elections, voters will have the chance to evaluate the progress Democrats have made so far (or the lack thereof). If Dems miss the mark, they may struggle to turn out climate voters in November. The vast majority of the electorate today is aware of the threat climate change poses: 73% believe climate change will harm future generations, a figure that shoots up to 93% among liberal Democrats. Voters want to see their elected leaders acting on that threat—a whopping four-fifths of voters feel the federal government is responsible for addressing climate change.

That translates to direct support for the Build Back Better Act; a recent Data for Progress poll found that when informed of the plan’s climate and clean energy investments, voters support the Build Back Better Act by a +39-point margin. A majority of voters further feel that Democrats should deliver those climate investments on a party line vote, if necessary. The onus is on Democrats to deliver.

Blog Post Image

A majority of voters think it is “Very” or “Somewhat” important to pass all of the Build Back Better Act’s major climate and clean energy provisions. (Source: Data for Progress)

Democrats Must Pass the Climate Provisions in BBBA

The political math is clear: Democrats must live up to their commitments to voters by passing the climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act. Delivering these transformational climate investments is a golden opportunity for Democrats to galvinize their base and prove that they can fulfill their core campaign promises.

Democrats have every reason to seize this opportunity. We have no time to delay carbon pollution cuts, and missing this rare chance will drag down the national economy for generations to come. Voters see these risks, and they want the governing majority to act. The Build Back Better Act’s climate investments offer a path forward. The climate package has already won consensus in the Democratic caucus; if the party wants to retain their majority, they can’t afford further delay. Democrats in Congress must secure a deal that includes these robust climate investments before March 1st, and build a climate legacy to campaign on in 2022.

We built a tool that makes it easy for you to connect to your Senate office and let them know that they must pass these climate investments immediately. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity—we can’t let it pass us by. Call your senator now.