Oct 4, 2023 - Technology

First look: Biden allies seek youth cred by boosting climate corps

Illustration of a donkey with a smart phone strapped to its back.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

A climate group with close ties to Democrats has launched swing state ads touting President Biden's "American Climate Corps," a new youth-focused jobs and training program.

Driving the news: Climate Power's six-figure, four-week digital campaign is targeting women under 30 on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

  • They're running in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
  • For instance, a Facebook ad showing the Statue of Liberty holding a wind turbine touts "pathways to the middle class and a more sustainable future for young people."

Why it matters: Turnout among young, climate-focused voters in 2024 would help Biden, who's facing a tough reelection challenge.

The intrigue: The climate corps is a longstanding priority for youth activists — some of the same people angered by White House decisions like green-lighting the ConocoPhillips' Willow oil project in Alaska.

The big picture: The ads are part of a wider Climate Power push to bridge what it calls an "education gap" on Biden's agenda.

  • "Our campaign will make sure young people understand that President Biden is making a difference in their lives and delivering on his climate and clean energy promises," executive director Lori Lodes said in a statement.

What we're watching: How Biden's energy policies play in the 2024 cycle.

  • Donald Trump and several other GOP candidates are attacking Biden's electric vehicle policies and restrictions on domestic oil production on federal lands and waters, calling them anti-consumer.

The bottom line: Climate isn't a top-tier election topic but matters greatly to key pockets of voters. And battles over Biden policies will be front and center in 2024.

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