The youth climate movement has gained enormous momentum over the past few years. While progressive groups tend to be the most well known, conservative youth activists are also expanding their presence in American politics. 

The Republican Party stands to lose an entire generation of voters if it doesn’t embrace a more environmentally friendly agenda. We speak to Benji Backer, founder and president of the American Conservation Coalition, about what he thinks Republicans are getting right and wrong on climate heading into the 2020 election. We also discuss the 50-day road trip he embarked on this week in a Tesla Model X to highlight local climate solutions from across the political spectrum.

Benji and a group of college-aged friends created The American Conservation Coalition in 2017 with a dream of making environmental issues nonpartisan. The Republican-leaning group says it’s dedicated to mobilizing young people around climate action and environmental protection through commonsense, market-based and limited-government ideals — even if that means criticizing members of their own party. 

In this episode of Political Climate, we talk to Benji about what young, conservative climate activists want and debate Republicans’ existing track record on climate action.

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Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. This episode is brought to you with support from Lyft. Listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Play or wherever you get podcasts.