- Advocacy Resource
- Environment & Energy
Climate Questions for Candidates
With the 2018 midterms approaching, candidates will be out in states and districts holding constituent forums and events. These events are great opportunities to engage candidates on important issues like climate change.
Elected officials are much more likely to act on issues they heard about on the campaign trail during their term in office. Next time there is a town hall or other candidate forum in your area, consider asking one of the following questions to elevate the issue of climate change on the campaign trail:
How should the U.S. be involved in international efforts to address climate change? Do you support the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement?
Climate change is a global problem that needs global solutions. Its effects are already evident in the devastating hurricanes and wildfires the U.S. experienced in the past year and in ever-rising global temperatures. The past 17 years are among the hottest since modern recording-keeping began. Bold action, both individually and collectively, is required to address these alarming trends.
The U.S. needs to be taking such action. Congress should pass legislation to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and the U.S. should participate in international agreements to address and mitigate the effects of climate change. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement points the U.S. in the wrong direction, endangering both our negotiating power with other nations and the well-being of communities around the world.
In 2017 and 2018 we experienced catastrophic hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas, and devastating wildfires in the west. Earth science experts say these extreme weather events were worsened by climate change and are becoming more frequent. How do we address the root cause of increasing extreme weather, and prepare for future extreme weather events?
The increase in extreme weather events is inextricably linked with human caused climate change. These effects are only going to get worse as climate change intensifies. The U.S. needs to enact policies that address both the effects of climate change and the root causes. These solutions could include policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, policies to increase disaster preparedness, changing building codes to adapt to climate change, and fully funding prevention and relief efforts for extreme weather events.
The Climate Solutions Caucus in the House is one of the best current examples of bipartisanship in Congress. Evenly split between the political parties, the Climate Solutions Caucus seeks to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and to explore bipartisan policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. As a member of Congress will you commit to working towards these solutions to climate change?
In order to successfully enact lasting robust climate legislation, bipartisan support will be critical. The Climate Solutions Caucus has done an incredible job of bringing members of opposite political parties together in productive dialogue. We hope to see this dialogue continue next Congress and result in substantive legislation. By making climate dialogue more mainstream, we are able to cultivate the necessary space for substantive climate reform.
If the candidate is already a member of the caucus that’s great, and we would want to hear how they have worked within the caucus to advance climate action within the House of Representatives. If they are not a member of the caucus, we would want them to consider joining, or discuss how they can work in a bipartisan manner to address climate change.
17 of the 18 warmest years since modern record-keeping began have occurred since 2001. What effect does this warming trend have on our district/state, and how will you work to address this trend and its effects as a member of congress?
Climate change is directly affecting the lives of people in the U.S. from Puerto Rico, to Texas, to California. We want the candidate to have some knowledge of how climate change is affecting the daily lives of people within their district. We would also look for good policy suggestions such as investing in renewable energy, resilient infrastructure, or other climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
These questions are a few suggestions for how to engage candidates on the issue of climate change. Click here to see questions for candidates on other policy issues.
You can find in-person events with candidates by searching their website, social media, or in your local newspaper. Approaching candidates with questions relating to deeply held convictions is a compelling way to speak truth to power.