Nov 30, 2019

Big names begin bipartisan push to build support for carbon cuts

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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How John Kerry and the Sunrise Movement distill Democratic climate politics

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former senator and Secretary of State John Kerry, who has spent decades working on climate change, endorsed Joe Biden Thursday in a statement that included a shout-out to Biden's ability to tackle the topic.

Meanwhile, the upstart, leftist Sunrise Movement released its scorecard of candidates' climate plans and commitment to action. It puts Biden's far behind Elizabeth Warren and especially Bernie Sanders, who scored the highest with his aggressive (and, some climate experts say, questionably constructed) $16 trillion proposal.

Go deeperArrowDec 6, 2019

UN climate summit opens on heels of sobering emissions data

Photo: Pierre- Philippe Marcou/AFP via Getty Images

COP25, a big United Nations climate summit, opens Monday in Madrid, Spain.

Why it matters: It follows fresh reports in recent days showing how the world is far off track from even beginning the steep emissions cuts needed to meet the Paris agreement's goals.

Go deeperArrowDec 2, 2019

UN climate emergency talks limp on

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Negotiations at COP25, the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference, continued into the night Saturday as "major economies resisted calls for bolder climate commitments," Reuters reports from the Madrid summit.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Ben Geman: This impasse shows how hard it's proving to transform the Paris climate agreement's vision into more concrete steps. It comes as the harms of the changing climate become more apparent in the present.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 15, 2019