EDF announces major new campaign to turn out young voters for climate action

August 26, 2014
Keith Gaby, 202-572-3336, kgaby@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – August 26, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today announced the launch of a major new campaign, Defend Our Future, which will focus on motivating young voters to show their support for climate action at the ballot box.

The campaign will begin with a two million dollar voter turnout effort in Colorado aimed at demonstrating the power of young voters who care about solving climate change.

“Young voters of both parties understand climate change is a threat to their future. This campaign is about showing them they have the power to make politicians listen,” said Dr. Alicia Kolar Prevost, who is running the effort for EDF. “Polls show that more than 80 percent of Millennial voters understand that we need to deal with climate change, but they don’t always turn out to vote — especially in midterm elections. We believe that climate change can motivate these voters, and that will make candidates take notice.”

The Colorado effort is in part a test run for a larger national effort going forward. Defend Our Future will combine on-the-ground organizing with a mix of new and proven technologies in digital, social and data targeting honed in the 2012 campaign. The effort aims to collect 100,000 pledges to vote in Colorado this year. The campaign’s website is defendourfuture.org. The campaign will also be releasing a series of videos.

“Voter turnout efforts have become highly scientific in the last few election cycles,” said Mitch Stewart, lead consultant for Defend Our Future and former Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign. “Combining the strong feelings young voters have about climate change with the latest get out the vote tactics will be a powerful combination.”

The message of Defend Our Future will focus on empowerment for voters under 35. Younger voters represent the leading edge of a growing demographic wave that is far more supportive of climate action than older cohorts of voters.

“There’s a lot at stake for young voters. This is their chance to make a difference for their future,” said Dr. Prevost. “Success for us is when elected officials realize that doing the right thing on climate change is also smart politics.”

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.