Defend Our Future partnered with Bloomberg Government for a series of policy conversations at both political conventions. Our goal was to create a space to have a conversation about climate policy with current and future leaders in both parties. The Young Evangelicals for Climate Action's Rachel Lamb said that climate action is “a moral issue” and that climate change is “negatively impacting people, as well as the environment, which we’re called to take care of by God.” Cade Marsh of the College Republican National Committee said, “Green Republicans Resist Trump’s climate denial in Cleveland," and argued that environmentalism and conservatism are not mutually exclusive. Several young Republicans in attendance sported “Teddy Faces,” a cutout mask of Teddy Roosevelt, to remind fellow Republicans that there is a strong history of conservation in their party.
In Philadelphia, Democratic leaders including Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and the director of the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, Christine Knapp, discussed solutions at all levels of government, and defending the Clean Power Plan and the progress made during the current administration. Also joining the conversation were Moms Clean Air Force’s Gretchen Dalkemper and EDF Climate Corps fellow Donna Sanders, who working is to improve energy efficiency at Corning Incorporated. The CEOs of leading national environmental organizations also participated, including Margie Alt of Environment America, Michael Brune of Sierra Club, Gene Karpinski of League of Conservation Voters and Rhea Suh of NRDC.