Did Climate Strikes and the UN Summit Influence American Politics?

Millions of young people took to the streets last month to demand that governments take bolder action on climate.

Days later, world leaders assembled at the United Nations for the Secretary General's high-profile Climate Action Summit, where dozens of countries pledged to strengthen their climate goals. But did any of this resonate with American policymakers? In this week’s episode of Political Climate, we discuss takeaways from the climate strikes and the U.N. climate summit, and how these events have (or haven't) influenced U.S. politics.
We share excerpts from an exclusive interview with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, host of the upcoming COP25 climate talks set to take place in Santiago this December. And we analyze how calls to action are being received by U.S. politicians.

Recommended reading:

  • Vox: The U.N. Climate Action Summit Was a Disappointment
  • KCRW: The U.N.: Climate Change and Future Generations
  • NPR: 'Game Recognizes Game': A Bipartisan Bond in the Age of Impeachment
  • Atlantic Council: Exclusive Interview on Climate Leadership With Miguel Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile

Keeping current with electric vehicles. Odds are you don't find yourself sitting in traffic next to an electric vehicle (EV) very frequently, but that may soon change. According to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global sales from EVs are expected to grow from 1.1 million in 2017 to 11 million in 2025, rising to 30 million in 2025. Furthermore, the forecast states: "By 2040, 55% of all new car sales and 33% of the global fleet will be electric." Although Tesla is often the first mentioned when talk around the water cooler turns to EVs, plenty of traditional automakers are charged up about them as well. For example, General Motors announced last October its intent to launch at least 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023 as it drives toward a future where it intends to solely produce zero-emission, all-electric vehicles. Volkswagen AG, moreover, also aspires to satisfy the growing demand for EVs; the company plans on offering customers electric versions of all the models in its portfolio by 2030.

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and with support from producer Victoria Simon. Subscribe to the Political Climate podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Overcast or any of these other services.