Solar Panels. (Jonathan Cutrer/Flickr)

Climate change and what to do about it is a persistent issue in the mind of both candidates and voters alike. As focus on the topic and anxiety about the future grows, many candidates in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections are bringing climate change into their campaign and political agenda. 

While some candidates view climate change as one of the most pressing issues facing our nation, others are placing less of a focus on energy and the environment in their proposed policy. Regardless of their stance, many candidates cannot avoid discussing this hot-button topic as the midterm elections begin to close in, due to its implications for the economy, energy usage, transportation and more.

AllSides examined where the 2022 candidates stand and what each is saying in regards to the controversial topic of climate change. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates in key races.

Senate Elections


Mandela Barnes (D)

“​​The people are ready for change. The people are demanding change. Farmers are choosing more sustainable agricultural practices. Utility companies are investing in renewable energy. And our local communities are reforming their policies to promote greener, cleaner economies. We can and must make Wisconsin a place where everyone can grow up in a safe and clean environment and have the opportunity to thrive, no matter their ZIP code.”

Barnes believes in fostering change to combat climate change. He says that climate change is taking a toll on our communities from farms to cities and believes in bringing new life to the manufacturing industry through sustainable changes. He is currently the chair of the governor’s task force on climate change and, if elected as senator, his policy goals include transitioning to entirely renewable energy and creating jobs in clean-energy manufacturing. He also supports the Inflation Reduction Act which would dedicate $369 billion to renewable energy.

Ron Johnson (R, Incumbent)

“Regarding climate change, I am not a climate change denier, but I also am not a climate change alarmist. Climate is not static. It has always changed and always will change. I do not share Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s view that the “world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” (I consider that to be an extreme position — to say the least.) At some point, all the Malthusian predictions that have not come true should begin reducing the credibility of the scaremongers.” 

Johnson does not find climate change to be a pressing issue. At a Republican luncheon in the summer of 2021, Johnson voiced “I don’t know about you guys, but I think climate change is — as Lord Monckton said — bullsh–” (Johnson did not utter but mouthed the profanity). He feels climate change and global warming are used as fear tactics by the democratic party and that climate change is a natural process that is not to be fretted over. He also voted against the Inflation Reduction Act.

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New Hampshire

Maggie Hassan (D, Incumbent)

“We must take real action to address the existential threat posed by climate change and lead the world in transitioning to a clean energy economy that creates good-paying jobs and protects our environment for generations to come.”

Maggie Hassan is making climate change a priority in her policy agenda with goals of building an economy based on clean energy. She supports the Inflation Reduction Act to move towards a clean energy economy and provide tax cuts to households that invest in energy efficient measures for their homes. She has been instrumental in the crafting of the bipartisan infrastructure law as well in regards to clean energy efforts. Additionally, Hassan introduced and signed the NET METER Act into law and supports the Clean Energy for America Act.

Don Bolduc (R)

“No, [climate] is not a priority but it is a priority in this $739 billion bill. ... This is a bad bill all the way around."

Don Buldoc has voiced that he does not feel climate change is a top priority. He opposes the Inflation Reduction Act.

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Michael Bennet (D, Incumbent)

“If the Senate doesn't act urgently on climate, I fear my kids & grandkids won't recognize Colorado. I refuse to let that happen.”

Michael Bennet takes a clear stance on his commitment to fighting climate change and fostering a clean energy economy. He believes in a comprehensive policy agenda that includes efforts to advance clean energy and reduce pollution while bolstering the economy and supporting local communities. He believes this can be done through strengthening our energy independence and domestic supply chains and modernizing our energy systems to low-cost renewable resources. Bennet has and continues to push for legislation to meet these goals.

Joe O’Dea (R)

“There's no doubt that the climate is changing, everybody can agree that it is getting warmer. How much of it’s caused by man-made? How much of it's natural? I think there's a debate there still to be had.”

Joe O’Dea says that while climate change is present, its causes and therefore solutions are debatable. He feels the transition to renewable energy should be gradual and that drastic measures are not ideal or necessary. O’Dea attributes at least some of the issue to natural causes out of human control.

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Gubernatorial Elections


Josh Shapiro (D)

“We need to take real action to address climate change, protect and create energy jobs and ensure Pennsylvania has reliable, affordable and clean power for the long term.” 

Josh Shapiro places climate change, energy, and the environment as a whole as a top priority in his policy agenda. He believes in creating a comprehensive energy and climate policy for the state that involves investing in clean energy while creating jobs and bolstering the economy. Some initiatives he supports are investing in zero-carbon technologies and promoting solar projects and other measures to increase accessibility to renewable energy sources. His goal is to achieve 30% renewable energy within the state by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050.

Doug Mastriano (R)

(When asked if global warming is real), “It is not. It’s fake science, and it’s a racket at the academic level.”

Doug Mastriano does not feel climate change is a real or pressing issue in the upcoming election. Mastriano has shared he would take Pennsylvania out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) immediately should he be elected. Overall, he believes climate change is “fake science.”

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Charlie Crist (D)

“I will fight for clean air, clean water, clean energy and conservation with every fiber in my being. I’m putting together an ambitious and attainable climate policy to lower energy costs, create jobs and tackle climate change.” 

Charlie Crist believes in climate change and implementing changes to promote clean air, water, and energy. One of his key initiatives is his “million solar roofs plan” with goals of reaching one million solar roofs within the state to bring both clean energy and jobs. He also cosponsored the Climate Action Now Act and has voted to bolster clean energy and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. 

Ron DeSantis (R, Incumbent)

“People, when they start talking about things like ‘global warming,’ they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things that they would want to do anyways. We’re not doing any left-wing stuff. What we’re doing though, is just reacting to the fact that okay, we’re a flood-prone state.”

Ron DeSantis’ stance on climate change is nuanced. His Resilient Florida Program focuses on climate adaptation, however he dismisses larger-sweeping mitigation efforts and has referred to global warming as a political tool of the left. 

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Wes Moore (D)

“We see the effects of climate change everywhere in Maryland, from the $10 billion it’s cost us over the past decade to the schools closed due to extreme heat and weather to the 100-year storms we see every five years…Everyone has a role to play in addressing the climate crisis, because this crisis is impacting everyone.”

Wes Moore is passionate about combatting climate change. He is vocal about the effects climate change have had on extreme heat and weather throughout the state. Moore’s policy goals include 100% clean energy by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2045 by converting the grid to clean energy and promoting the use of clean technologies. 

Dan Cox (R)

“Cox dismisses forecasts about the consequences of climate change as an unscientific pretense for more government and corporate intrusion into people’s lives.”

Dan Cox does not frequently discuss the issue of climate change and his stance does not appear on his campaign website. However, he voted against legislation to lower greenhouse gas emissions, convert to zero-emission buses, and a bill that aimed to generate jobs in clean energy production.

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House Elections

New Hampshire

District 1

Chris Pappas (D, Incumbent)

“As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to combating climate change and making sure that we protect our natural resources for generations to come.”

Chris Pappas believes climate change is a pressing issue and vows to make it a priority should he continue to hold office. He plans to maintain clean energy tax credits and incentives to promote clean energy and has done so already throughout his time on the New Hampshire Executive Council by securing funds for clean energy projects across the state. Additionally, he is adamant about continuing membership in the Paris Climate Agreement and the Clean Power Plan.

Karoline Leavitt (R)

No. The alleged ‘existential threat of climate change’ is a manufactured crisis by the Democrat Party to frighten the American people into supporting the passage of The Green New Deal, which is a socialist takeover of our economy and society.”

Karoline Leavitt does not see climate change as a pressing issue. She views the threat of global warming as a political tactic of the Democratic Party and has not shared plans in regards to the issue. Her campaign website indicates she supports making the United States energy independent. 

New York

District 22

Francis Conole (D)

“We are facing a global existential crisis. The science is clear — climate change is the biggest short and long-term threat to social justice, economic stability, national security and public health. Some scientists are stating we have until roughly 2030 before we cross over the horizon of catastrophe, and irreversible damage is done to our planet.”

Francis Conole takes the issue of climate change extremely seriously. His campaign website shares that the issue hits close to home as he recognizes the impacts that climate change have had on extreme weather and pollution within the state, especially Central New York. He believes in investing in clean energy technology both to fight climate change and generate jobs, with goals of achieving a 100%

Brandon Williams (R)

“Brandon supports American energy independence and will fight to keep gas prices and utility costs low for New Yorkers, while also rejecting radical policies like the Green New Deal which will hurt working and middle class families financially as it kills jobs and puts America last.”

Brandon Williams takes a different stance on climate change than opponent Francis Conole. His campaign website indicates he does not support “radical” policies including the Green New Deal as he feels it is bad for jobs and the economy. 


District 34

Vincente Gonzalez Jr. (D)

“Congressman Gonzalez supports an all-the-above approach to energy and understands the importance of American energy not only to power our cars and homes, but also as a national security issue and a job creator.”

Vincente Gonzalez Jr. recognizes both the importance of American energy as well as protecting the environment. His campaign website indicates he supports the development of renewable energy sources including wind and solar. However, he also currently serves as the chairman of the Congressional Oil and Gas Caucus and is passionate about the oil and gas industry.

Mayra Flores (R)

Green New Deal = wasting trillions of hardworking taxpayer money, give it to their donors, other countries and destroying America.”

Mayra Flores’ describes herself on her campaign website as “pro-oil and gas.” She is passionate about protecting the oil and gas industry and voices she will “stand firm against radical policies that would undermine it.” Outside of this, Flores has not shared her views of climate change widely.

Rose Mercer is a Content and Research Intern at AllSides. She has a Lean Left bias.

This blog was reviewed and edited by Henry A. Brechter, Managing Editor (Center bias).

Image Credit: Jonathan Cutrer/Flickr