Mark Kelly’s Victory Proves The Politics Of Climate Have Changed, Arizonans Demand Bold Action on Climate

Washington, D.C. –  Mark Kelly’s victory shows the politics of climate have changed.

This sea change comes as Arizonans have felt the full wrath of the climate crisis in their daily lives. Between record-breaking extreme heatwaves, wildfires, a global pandemic, and economic uncertainty, Arizonans faced the impacts of the climate crisis on their health and safety this year — spurring voters to support pro-climate action candidates in Arizona and across the country.

“Climate was on the ballot and Arizonans chose science and bold action over denial and inaction. Senator-elect Kelly will move Arizona toward a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future by investing in clean energy and listening to science. Voters across the state issued a mandate for Kelly to join the U.S. Senate as a pro-climate champion who would bring about real action to combat the threat of climate change,” said Daniela Campos, a spokesperson for Climate Power 2020.

Climate action played an outsized role in the political debate in 2020, and Kelly emphasized the urgency and severity of the climate crisis throughout his campaign. In one campaign video, he said:  “We need to take action to stop climate change, and we can’t afford to let partisan politics get in the way of stopping it before it’s too late.”

The importance of taking immediate, bold climate action is among the reasons voters rejected Martha McSally and her science denial. By siding with the Trump administration and voting against climate proposals, McSally fought harder to support Big Oil than to defend Arizonians’ right to clean air, clean water, and public lands.

Mark Kelly made plans to combat climate change a key pillar of his campaign: 

  • Kelly said he’ll promote renewable energy opportunities for Arizona, which would create good-paying union clean energy jobs while tackling the climate crisis.
  • He also opposes uranium mining in the Grand Canyon and has committed to protecting public lands when in the U.S. Senate.

The climate crisis played a significant role in the race as Kelly put McSally on defense for siding with the Trump administration’s climate denial.

  • Climate made history this election after presidential and senatorial debates featured serious climate questions that pushed all candidates to detail their action plans.
  • Arizona was no exception. During the Arizona debates, Kelly shared his plans to transition to clean energy and pushed McSally on her ties to Big Oil.
  • Kelly’s campaign released an ad, “My Next Mission,” that included climate change and its role in increasing droughts, while also criticizing Republicans’ retreat from science, data, and facts in politics.
  • Pro-climate groups heavily messaged to voters on climate action throughout the race, with EDF Action Votes spent more than $1 million on climate-focused TV ads.

Ad totals are based on figures from Advertising Analytics covering September 1, 2020 to November 3, 2020.