The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. Between two shocking Supreme Court rulings—one gutting the power of federal agencies like the EPA and the other putting Presidents above the law—and the alarming performances by both candidates in the June 28 presidential debate, the future of climate progress, and American democracy as a whole, depends on the outcome of the 2024 election.

Naturally, most of the attention is on the presidential battle. But the countless other races, from Congressional seats to state legislatures to city councils, are also critically important. These legislators will be needed to secure and advance the progress already made or serve as a bulwark against efforts to undermine it.

So, what can we do to help tip the scales and get climate champions elected up and down the ballot?

We agree with Bill McKibbenwe must make climate change a campaign issue.

Why? Because climate is a winning issue. For years now, Yale surveys have indicated that a strong majority of Americans are alarmed or concerned about climate. A recent Data for Progress survey confirmed this, finding that climate is one of the strongest issues attracting voters to Democrats and repelling them from Republicans.

Perhaps most significantly, this is an issue most important to a key group of voters that are essential to a Democratic victory. 69% of 18- to 34-year-old voters—the very voters most at risk of leaving the tent—supported the Biden Administration’s climate policies when they were informed about them.

In the lead-up to November, then, we need candidates at every level to get loud and proud about their climate ambitions. Specifically, we need them to:

  • Clarify where they stand on the climate crisis and the need for powerful government action to address it.
  • Present a clear, concrete plan for how they intend to tackle climate at the speed and scale that science demands.
  • Support and endorse fellow climate champions running for office, whether federal, state, or local.

Many candidates still don’t realize just how much climate matters to their constituents. We need to ensure they hear one key message from us:

We are climate voters. We, and millions of voters like us, want climate action NOW—and we will vote for the candidates we believe will deliver on it.

Let’s make sure they get that message loud and clear.