Canyon Fire 2 wildfire in Anaheim Hills and the City of Orange by Aarti Kalyanivia Shutterstock

Our Campaigns

Bridging the Climate Divide

GOAL: Find common ground on climate change and build the support we need to win real national policy to reduce our country’s climate-warming emissions.
Americans are already experiencing the effects of climate change, from stronger storms, to more frequent floods, to worsening wildfires and more. And yet, Congress remains gridlocked when it comes to climate action.
There’s a tragic irony at the heart of that gridlock: Many of the elected representatives in Washington, D.C. who oppose climate action represent the very communities that lie in the paths of the hurricanes, floods and wildfires being turbocharged by climate change.
A majority of people who live in these vulnerable communities are concerned about the risks of global warming. But with the public dialogue split between outright climate denial and plans to restructure our entire society, the gulf on climate solutions seems wider than ever. That’s why we’re working to bridge the climate divide.
  • <h4>WE’RE ALREADY EXPERIENCING THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE</h4><h5>Stronger storms, sunny day flooding and sea level rise are threatening coastal communities. Droughts and worsening wildfire seasons threaten communities elsewhere. The result? Millions of Americans risk losing their homes.</h5><em>FEMA via Public Domain</em>
  • <h4>A DISCONNECT BETWEEN PEOPLE AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES</h4><h5>Many of the elected officials who oppose climate action represent communities that are the most vulnerable to climate change.</h5><em>Songquan Deng via Shutterstock</em>
  • <h4>WE CAN BRIDGE THE DIVIDE BETWEEN AMERICANS ON CLIMATE CHANGE</h4><h5>Polls show that solar and wind energy enjoy bipartisan popular support. And millions of Americans care about the nation's historic sites, military bases and fire stations, all of which need protection from the effects of climate change.</h5><em>Staff</em>
It’s time to bridge the climate divide

To win concrete climate action, we have to address the disconnect between the communities that are directly affected by climate change and the representatives who too often vote the wrong way.

It’s absurd that millions of people are at risk of losing their homes and businesses — and yet, we keep burning fossil fuels with abandon, and our leaders are unable to agree on commonsense solutions.

Meanwhile, we’re losing our nation’s natural and historic coastal treasures to sea level rise, sunny day flooding and extreme storm surges. We're even losing entire communities to wildfires that grow ever more ferocious.

As the impacts of climate change become harder to ignore, we can begin to bridge the divide between Americans and find common ground on commonsense solutions.

Staff

It’s not enough to speak to those who already agree with us. We need to broaden support for climate action across the country, regardless of political affiliation. And we know it’s possible: Climate solutions like wind and solar energy are popular among people with a diverse array of political views — even among those who are skeptical of climate science.

That's why we’re:

  • Supporting first responders through our Solar Strong campaign, which calls for solar and battery backup solutions on every fire station across the country.
  • Partnering with historic preservationists to raise awareness and save our nation’s historic sites from extreme weather and sea level rise.
  • Working with local officials to increase energy efficiency and expedite the transition to clean energy in counties and towns across the country.
  • Amplifying the voices of doctors and nurses who are seeing the devastating impacts of climate change on their patients’ health in their offices every day.
  • Working with retired military leaders and veterans to speak about the impacts of the changing climate on critical military infrastructure.

At the core of these solutions lie values we can all agree on, from promoting public safety and improving community resilience, to protecting our families’ health and conserving our beautiful natural and historic areas.

Our national network is starting with the coastal states, where there’s a clear and present threat from sea level rise, extreme weather and storm surges. Almost half of the U.S. House of Representatives represent communities along the coast.

Environment Florida Research and Policy Center and our national network have a track record of success in finding common ground among Americans with diverse political views. In a joint campaign with our 501(c)(4) sister organization, we built the public support that informed the public about the issues and helped win the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act—which secured billions in funding for our parks and public lands — and together we’ve convinced states from Virginia to New Mexico to California commit to renewable energy.

Floridastock via Shutterstock
Not a moment to lose

For the people of Paradise, California, or Mexico Beach, Florida, or Ellicott City, Maryland, it’s already too late. Paradise — a small mountain town in the Sierra Nevada — was devastated by the Camp Fire of 2018. The town burned down within hours, and 84 members of the community ultimately lost their lives. The storm surge from 2018’s Hurricane Michael swept away block after block in Mexico Beach on the rural panhandle of Florida. And Ellicott City, a colonial town founded in 1772 in Maryland, faced two devastating “1,000 year” floods in the span of three years, decimating its historic downtown.

Bridging the climate divide will allow us to roll up our sleeves and begin to implement comprehensive climate solutions much more quickly and efficiently. Instead of bickering, our leaders will bring their communities and followers along in support of the solutions. And, by joining together, we can leave our children and our grandchildren a healthier, safer future.