Climate Change and the 2020 Election

Andrew Deerin

Welcome to Signal Cast, with your host Andrew Deerin, Creative Director at Signal, joined by colleague Madeline Wade for a hot and cold discussion about climate change.

SIGNALCAST: Welcome to SignalCast, the weekly podcast from Signal Group. Signal is a bipartisan communication and advocacy firm, located in Washington, DC. As always, I’m your host Andrew Deerin, Creative Director at Signal, and today I’m joined by my colleague Madeline Wade for a hot and cold discussion about climate change, and how it will shift certain policies under the new Congress.

Madeline, welcome. Climate change wasn’t really a big issue in the 2016 election, but it seems like it will be, and again, forgive me, a hot-button issue in the 2020 election. What will be some of the first policy initiatives taken by Democrats that will set up those climate change battles?

MADELINE WADE: First of all, good puns Andrew.

SC: Thank you.

WADE: Second, the House Democrats have already voted on climate change within their first day in the majority. They voted to implement the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, going forward, where there will be 15 members of the House on this, focused on climate issues, including incoming Energy and Commerce Chairman, Frank Pallone, has said that his first committee hearing will be on the impacts of climate change along with many other committee chairmen who will focus in this space.

And as for 2020, we see presidential nominees, or potential presidential nominees who have said that climate change will be their key party platform, like Jay Inslee from Washington, so that will also inform the narrative.

SC: So, it seems like Republicans and Democrats are on opposite ends of the earth, pun intended, when it comes to climate change. Inslee has obviously already come out with a pro-platform. So, where do you see opportunities for bipartisanship then?

WADE: I think there are plenty of opportunities for bipartisanship. Some fly more under the radar, like in the last Congress under the National Defense Authorization Act and some tax extenders. There were opportunities for climate change legislation that passed, and we can see that again going into the next Congress. Additionally, the Climate Solutions Caucus, which was deemed as a Noah’s Arc caucus, where a Republican and Democrat had to join together, was implemented in the last Congress, and I think we’ll see even more legislative priorities coming out of that caucus going into the next Congress.

SC: I’ve never heard of the Noah’s Arc.

WADE: It’s clever.

SC: Yeah, that is good. So, Signal works with a lot of organizations across a lot of different sectors, all of which, in my opinion, should care about this issue, but who do you think should be focusing on climate change?

WADE: I’m a little biased, but I think everybody should be. Every company and organization is impacted by climate change. We’re working with our clients now on a variety of issues in this space. In the last Congress, there was a little bit of a void with major legislative action coming out of Congress and the White House in this space, so companies were allowed to implement their best practices.

However, going forward in the House, there will be more of a focus in this space. And so, whether that’s oversight hearings or messaging bills, there will be more of an opportunity for companies to engage in this space.

SC: Cool. Well, that’ll do it for this week’s show. My thanks to Madeline Wade for her thoughts on how we might be able to thaw some of the partisanship surrounding climate change. To get in touch, drop us a line at SignalCast at signaldc.com, or check us out on the web at signaldc.com. For our entire production staff, I’m Andrew Deerin. We will see you next time.