This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
After years of watching climate change fail to emerge as a central issue in U.S. presidential elections, environmental activists are warily eyeing a coded message from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair that this might finally become the cycle when the future of the planet gets top billing.
The advocates are not just wondering about voters and their priorities, which a new wave of billionaire backers insist are at a “crossroads.” They are worried about the candidate herself.
Interviews with environmentalists, pollsters, donors, and Democratic strategists reveal a deep vein of doubt over Clinton’s political will in committing to the environment, mixed with an eagerness to hear much, much more about specific policies. At the very least, they are waiting to hear her say the words “climate change” on the campaign trail, which alone might be an advantage over Republicans who would reject science in the White House.
Green activists say they are watching whether Clinton moves beyond talking vaguely about the climate — politically safe ter... Read more