October 26, 2022

Scholars: Midterm Elections Critical for Progress on Climate Change

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

The upcoming midterm elections could have a massive impact on this country’s ability to make progress on climate change, two Duke experts said Wednesday.

These impacts could be felt on local, state and federal levels, especially in places where Republicans edge closer to taking control of power levers. A shift in Congress, for example, could imperil the recently approved Inflation Reduction Act, which includes a great deal of funding for climate-related issues.

Duke scholars Kay Jowers, Director for Just Environments at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the Kenan Institute for Ethics,  and Geoffrey Henderson, postdoctoral associate at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, discussed these and many other issues during a virtual briefing with journalists. (Watch the briefing on YouTube.)

Jowers said, “We’re seeing things showing up on the ballot in interesting ways. Policy that is at risk are things like the Inflation Reduction Act. We also are seeing some policy proposals. California and New York both have important propositions on the ballot this year.

“Climate change shows up in so many policies that we don’t think. There’s so many issue areas that are affected by climate. Immigration policy is related to climate because climate is driving a great deal of migration across the world and even across the United States.

“The Inflation Reduction Act – it doesn’t even have ‘climate’ in the name but it’s probably one of the most important climate policies today.”

Featured Experts