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The 2020 presidential election poses a critical test of climate conservatives' willingness to put their environmental concerns before party politics. filo / Getty Images

By Ilana Cohen

Four years ago, Jacob Abel cast his first presidential vote for Donald Trump. As a young conservative from Concord, North Carolina, the choice felt natural.

But this November, he plans to cast a "protest vote" for a write-in candidate or abstain from casting a ballot for president. A determining factor in his 180-degree turn? Climate change.

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New Zealand could be the first country in the world to require its major financial institutions to report on the risks posed by the climate crisis. Lawrence Murray / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

New Zealand could be the first country in the world to require its major financial institutions to report on the risks posed by the climate crisis.

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Patagonia's current logo. Ajay Suresh / CC BY 2.0

Eco-friendly outdoor brand Patagonia has a colorful and timely message stitched into the tags of its latest line of shorts. "VOTE THE A**HOLES," it reads.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern prepares to speak at a Business NZ Election Conference on Sept. 11, 2020. Hannah Peters / Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 if her party wins re-election in October.

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Towns like Breckenridge, Colorado, are part of a national organization, Mountain Towns 2030, that's swapping ideas about how to meet a goal of net-zero carbon emissions within a decade. 12019 / Needpix

By James Bruggers

In Maine, state officials are working to help residents install 100,000 high efficiency heat pumps in their homes, part of a strategy for electrifying the state. In California, an in-demand grant program helps the state's largest industry—agriculture, not technology—to pursue a greener, more sustainable future. Across Appalachia, solar panels are appearing on rooftops of community centers in what used to be coal towns.

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Protestors gather at the 2017 D.C. Climate March on April 29, 2017. Mark Dixon / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Julia Mahncke

U.S. President Donald Trump has undone many major pieces of climate policy during his term, walking out on the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming and eliminating numerous Obama-era environmental regulations.

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Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) speaks at a primary election night event at Malden Public Library on September 1, 2020 in Malden, Massachusetts. Allison Dinner / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Bolstered by an energized climate movement, small-dollar donors, and support from prominent progressive lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Green New Deal champion Sen. Ed Markey on Tuesday fended off a Democratic primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III, whose name recognition and late endorsement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were ultimately insufficient to topple the popular Massachusetts incumbent.

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Waste is found dumped at a marsh near the mouth of Neshaminy Creek to the Delaware river in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 6, 2019. Bastiaan Slabbers / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Melanie Benesh, Legislative Attorney

From the beginning, the Trump administration has aggressively slashed environmental regulations. A New York Times analysis identified 100 environmental protections that have been reversed or are in the process of getting rolled back. The administration's record on chemical safety has been especially hazardous for the health of Americans, especially children.

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Trump and Paradise Mayor Jody Jones view damage from the Camp Fire in Paradise, California on Nov. 17, 2018. SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump wanted to cut off wildfire relief money to California because the state did not support his political goals, a former administration staffer has claimed.

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California Senator Kamala Harris endorses Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Michigan on March 9, 2020. JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made a historic announcement Tuesday when he named California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election.

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U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at a hearing of the Judiciary Committee on June 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. Carolyn Kaster-Pool / Getty Images

By Yvette Cabrera

This story was originally published on Grist on July 30, 2020

Fifteen years ago, Kamala Harris — San Francisco's District Attorney at the time — created an environmental justice unit in her office. The goal was to go after the perpetrators of environmental crimes that were hurting some of the city's poorest residents.

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Any realistic hopes of averting disastrous climate change rests heavily upon the outcome of the November 2020 election. John McColgan / Wikimedia Commons

By Oliver Milman

This story was originally published in The Guardian on July 27, 2020.

It was a balmy June day in 2017 when Donald Trump took to the lectern in the White House Rose Garden to announce the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the only comprehensive global pact to tackle the spiraling crisis.

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President Donald Trump holds up a "Trump Digs Coal" sign at a Make America Great Again Rally in Huntington, West Virginia on August 3, 2017. SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images

By Varshini Prakash and John Podesta

At the 2019 Republican Retreat, Donald Trump promised his allies that he would make this election about climate change: "I want to bring them way down the pike," he said, "before we start criticizing the Green New Deal."

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