The Choice in 2024: Climate Action or Climate Denial

The Choice in 2024: Climate Action or Climate Denial
The White House in Washington, DC
Sarah Baker for NRDC Action Fund

Climate is on the ballot in 2024, and the NRDC Action Fund has a unique and important role to play in defeating MAGA climate denial.

Our climate future is at stake in this election. The almost certain rematch between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump will present us with a binary choice between building on the incredible environmental achievements of the past three years or returning to “drill, baby, drill.” We cannot go backward. We need to re-elect Joe Biden, maintain a pro-environment Senate, and win back a pro-environment House.

The Action Fund’s 2024 electoral program will focus on educating voters about what Biden and his pro-environment allies in Congress have done on climate and the environment, and contrasting this progress with the fossil fuel–polluted world that Trump and his MAGA (“make America great again”) allies are promising. The NRDC Action Fund has a unique role to play in this election—that of scientific validator and communicator.

In poll after poll, younger voters say addressing climate change and protecting the environment are among their top issues. Unfortunately, key constituencies for Biden, including young voters, voters of color, and independents, also tell pollsters they are unhappy with the president’s performance on these issues, despite the historic actions he and his pro-environment allies in Congress have taken to fight climate change. When researchers ask why, the main voter response is that Biden “hasn’t done enough.” Voters may be unaware of his accomplishments on climate, but their support for Biden rises substantially when they are informed about his administration’s actual record of results on clean energy and climate action. This is where the NRDC Action Fund can make a difference in 2024.

Younger voters do not trust the media, political parties, or politicians. But they do trust scientific research more than any other source of information, including their friends and family. The NRDC Action Fund’s access to deep policy expertise makes it a trusted messenger on this issue. We will communicate Biden’s climate achievements to young voters and other key voting groups via innovative digital media, both directly and through trusted social media influencers who partner with us. We believe this will help narrow Biden’s enthusiasm gap with young voters and boost the number of environmental voters who turn out for him and other pro-environment candidates in November.

Digital communications to younger voters will be just one aspect of our electoral strategy this cycle. Working through the NRDC Action Fund PAC, one goal will be to directly raise funds for pro-environment candidates through GiveGreen. GiveGreen raises the political power and visibility of the climate advocacy community by providing a tangible example of the support and resources climate voters can bring to bear for our allies in government. In 2024, GiveGreen will work with political donors to raise the most contributions ever for President Biden, congressional champions, and candidates up and down the ballot.

Finally, we need to do our part to increase voter turnout in the places that will decide control of the White House and Congress. The three places where the Action Fund can be most helpful in this effort are the two states that are key to winning back the House, California and New York, and the presidential tipping point state of Pennsylvania. California and New York, traditionally safe states, did not have strong on-the-ground voter turnout operations in 2022 and that ended up costing us control of the House. The Action Fund has its largest membership and deepest relationships in these states. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, we have both a large membership and a network of partnerships that will allow us to play an important role in the effort to win the state for Biden and others.

Those strengths make us well suited to participate in canvassing operations that will educate voters on the clear contrast between pro-environment candidates and their fossil fuel–backed opponents one-on-one. This type of face-to-face, neighbor to neighbor canvassing communication has proven to be the most effective way to persuade potential voters and increase their likelihood of voting.

This November, voters have a choice between building upon the incredible climate progress ushered in by President Biden and his pro-environment allies in Congress or going backward and electing Donald Trump and his ultra-MAGA supporters who will light the world on fire, literally and figuratively. With your support, we intend to meet this critical moment and play our role in ensuring we continue to move forward in our fight to protect our country’s land, water, and people.