We’re in the final stretch of an election season unlike any in recent memory. In the midst of a global pandemic, a historic economic downturn, and a racial justice reckoning, we can’t lose sight of the existential challenge confronting us: addressing climate change and transitioning to a world powered by clean, renewable energy. The 2020 election is likely the most important election in our lifetimes for all sorts of reasons—and clean energy is most definitely one issue that’s “on the ballot.” If you support America moving toward the clean energy future we so urgently need, make sure you vote like it.
In a time of polarization and pandemic, clean energy continues to poll as a winning issue. A June 2020 poll showed that Americans across the political spectrum support expanding our renewable energy sources at remarkable levels (83% support more wind, 90% support more solar). The same poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans agreed that the federal government should move more aggressively to restrict power plant emissions, require fuel-efficient cars, and tax corporate polluters. So how do we get there?
In a time of polarization and pandemic, clean energy continues to poll as a winning issue.
Climate and clean energy are finally getting some much-needed focus this election season. There are proposed plans finally getting big enough to match the scale of the climate challenge, in some cases integrated into broader economic recovery agendas. There are calls for government investment that will greatly increase the use of clean energy in the electricity, transportation, and building sectors. Massive deployment in wind and solar are included in plans to eliminate carbon emissions from the power sector within 15 years and to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century.
This scale of government action is desperately needed, especially since the last four years have seen a focus on dismantling Obama-era regulations like the Clean Power Plan and removing as many regulatory hurdles to oil, gas and coal production as possible. We need people in power who listen to scientists rather than downplaying the certainty and scale of the climate crisis at hand.
Your clean energy vote doesn’t just matter for the presidential election—it matters in state and local elections too—places where much of the clean energy action is happening. We need to let all the candidates know that we care about the transition to clean energy, and then make our support visible—in our homes, communities, and virtual lives.
Here are four things you can do to support clean energy this election:
Find out who’s on your ballot for November, then look up their record. What are their plans for clean energy investment and tackling climate change? Do they understand the huge job growth potential in wind and solar, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency? Do they have a plan to help under-resourced communities that are disproportionately affected by climate impacts? Probe candidates on these questions. Then VOTE for the person with the best plan out there.
2. Show support online
Now more than ever, getting involved in the democratic process means showing up online. Use the tools you have available and engage online using #votecleanenergy2020. Fortunately, we’ve done some of the legwork for you: download and use our Zoom virtual backgrounds, profile pics, and social media graphics and get after those virtual town halls, meetups, and online conversations.
3. Show support in your neighborhood
Put up a yard sign, wear a shirt, or put a sticker on your car. Even with physical interaction limited these days, there are still ways to make your support for clean energy visible in your neighborhood and community. Check out Generation180’s resources here.
4. Talk with others
Tell people why you’re voting for clean energy. Talk to your neighbors, your coworkers, your family, your friends. Your perspective matters more than you think—we’re social creatures, and the opinions of trusted sources matter (example: the importance of peer influence on electric vehicle purchases).
Help set our country’s course toward a better future. Check out the Vote Clean Energy 2020 campaign, which is all about equipping you to show your support for clean energy during this critical election season. Let’s get to it.