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7 Nov 2020

Ilana Cohen, Inside Climate News

Young voters, motivated by climate change and environmental justice, helped propel Biden’s campaign

[T]he Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning at Tufts University... concluded that those young voters, and particularly young people of color and women, may have helped put Biden over the edge in crucial battleground states, based on an analysis of votes counted by midday Friday.... "In many ways, the energy young people have brought throughout this election cycle—that will have catapulted Joe Biden into the presidency if we get that result" and given him a "climate mandate" in office, Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate organization, said... Prakash added that Sunrise and allied climate and progressive organizations played a critical role in making a youth-powered Biden victory possible by pushing for the Green New Deal and advocating for climate more broadly.

... Zanagee Artis, co-founder of Zero Hour, a youth climate justice organization, said the Unity Task Force on Climate Change Biden formed with Sen. Bernie Sanders, which included Green New Deal champions Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sunrise's Prakash, signalled the former vice president's willingness to listen to and work with young people. 

Though Biden's refusal to commit to a ban on fracking and fully embrace the Green New Deal frustrated many young progressive climate activists, Artis said he felt encouraged by how successful the youth climate movement had been in pushing Biden to adopt a much bolder climate policy plan than he would have otherwise... Digital technologies may also have played an important role in mobilizing young voters...