Feb 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Al Gore launches voter drive to make climate fight an election priority

Former Vice President Al Gore during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Al Gore launched Tuesday a national voter registration campaign with the Climate Reality Action Fund to recruit younger voters to help make the fight against climate change a key issue of the 2020 election and beyond.

The big picture: President Trump has rolled back several Obama-era policies and regulations, including withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement — although he announced last month a commitment to plant 1 trillion trees. Gore said in a statement, "We are at a political tipping point, thanks in large part to Greta Thunberg and millions of other young people speaking truth to power." He's confident young people will be a "driving force for climate action this November."

Go deeper: Al Gore: The unintended consequence of Trump's climate change denial

Go deeper

Hardly anyone talks about climate change

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Politicians, corporations, the media and activists are talking about climate change more than ever — but most Americans are not.

Be smart: If you’re reading this on social media, you’re probably the exception, not the rule. Just 9% of Americans talk about climate change often, surveys by Yale and George Mason University indicate.

South Carolina exit polls: Climate change slips as top priority vs. Iowa, New Hampshire

A voter in Columbia, South Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

South Carolina's Democratic primary voters were less likely to list climate change as a top issue compared to previous nominating contests, according to the AP's VoteCast exit polls.

The big picture: Health care, climate change and the economy have been the top 3 issues in each primary to this point.

Big climate change policy unlikely no matter who wins the White House

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Don’t hold your breath for big climate policy changes — even if a Democrat wins the White House.

Why it matters: Congress is likely to remain gridlocked on the matter, leading to either more of the same with President Trump’s re-election or a regulatory swing back to the left no matter which Democrat wins — but far short of a legislative overhaul.