Nov 30, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Big names begin bipartisan push to build support for carbon cuts

John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzeneger, Leonardo DiCaprio

John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leonardo DiCaprio. Photos: Getty Images.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry is launching a coalition of high-profile names — including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leonardo DiCaprio — aimed at building public support for tougher steps against global warming, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The unveiling of the "World War Zero" coalition comes ahead of a big U.N. climate summit that begins in Madrid, Spain next week. The group's name, per the NYT, is meant to emphasize national security risks posed by warming and the "wartime mobilization" needed to rein in emissions.

Why you'll hear about this again: The many names involved in the effort include former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Republicans such as John Kasich, the former governor of Ohio and musician Sting.

  • Kerry and Schwarzenegger will be on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

How it works: The NYT reports that the group's goal is to hold millions of "climate conversations" with Americans of varying political views.

  • "Members will head to battleground states that are key to the 2020 election, but also to military bases where climate discussions are rare and to economically depressed areas that members say could benefit from clean energy job," Lisa Friedman reports.
  • Kerry tells the paper that the group will begin town meetings in January, but will not promote any specific policy plan.

The big picture: The launch comes days after the latest data showed how global emissions — which are still rising — are extraordinarily far off track from achieving the long-term goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Domestically, President Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris deal and ending Obama-era initiatives, while his main Democratic rivals are pushing climate plans aimed at going much further than Obama.

Go deeper: Nothing is happening remotely fast enough to save the planet

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