Global Governance Institute


Will Climate Change Issues Affect the 2020 US Elections?

27 October 2020, 6:15 pm–7:30 pm

US Flag

Join us for a virtual keynote lecture with Professor Aseem Prakash (University of Washington) to discuss how climate change and other environmental issues may gain more traction in American politics.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Julia Kreienkamp

Climate change is supposed to be the key issue in the 2020 U.S. Elections. After all, an increasing number of Americans want an active federal climate policy and companies are scrambling to become climate leaders. However, opinion polls show that climate issues have a low salience in relation to other policy challenges such as the economy, healthcare, and COVID-19. Yet, Republicans are embracing climate issues in competitive Senate races. Instead of talking about climate change, they highlight local economic benefits of environmental protection. The lesson is that climate policy gets traction in competitive races. Second, the climate narrative needs to focus on local benefits of environmental protection as opposed to the save-the-earth narrative typically employed by the climate movement.

About the Speaker

Aseem Prakash

Professor Aseem Prakash
Aseem Prakash is Professor of Political Science, the Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Founding Director of the Center for Environmental Politics at the University of Washington. He writes on environmental policy, climate governance, NGOs, and voluntary regulation His recent awards include the American Political Science Association's 2020 Elinor Ostrom Career Achievement Award in recognition of "lifetime contribution to the study of science, technology, and environmental politics," the International Studies Association's 2019 Distinguished International Political Economy Scholar Award that recognizes "outstanding senior scholars whose influence and path-breaking intellectual work will continue to impact the field for years to come," and the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance's 2018 Regulatory Studies Development Award that recognizes a senior scholar who has made notable "contributions to the field of regulatory governance."

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