Young Americans voted in record numbers during the 2020 election and played a key role in tipping the scales to Joe Biden. Early research shows that concern about climate change was a major driver of that robust turnout.

The Sunrise Movement and other environmental groups mounted extensive campaigns to register and mobilize voters to oppose President Trump and vote climate champions into office. 

Biden’s climate platform isn’t the Green New Deal plan that many climate activists called for, and Democrats will have a tough time passing progressive climate policies unless they win both Senate runoff races in Georgia. Still, Donald Trump’s defeat will avoid further backtracking on climate action.

In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to two first-time presidential election voters, Troy Distelrath in Michigan and Gabriela Rodriguez in Florida, about why they voted for Biden and what they want to see next from their political leaders.

Plus, while Biden’s win represents a new era in the climate fight, the United States remains deeply divided, and the policy path forward remains murky. In the second half of this episode, we speak to Andreas Karelas, founder of the solar nonprofit RE-volv, about his critically acclaimed new book Climate Courage and how to advance climate solutions in these polarized times. 

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