NextGen Climate, the environmental group founded and funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, is launching a “seven-figure” ad campaign Thursday calling on presidential candidates and other political leaders to commit to moving the country to 50% clean energy by 2030, the group told MSNBC.
The first TV ad in the coming series, titled “Storm,” focuses on the economic impact of climate change and will air in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to hold presidential nominating contests.
NextGen is also launching a “six-figure” digital campaign urging voters to pressure candidates and elected officials to lay out more aggressive climate plans. A new 30-second digital video will run in Florida and Ohio, in addition to Iowa and New Hampshire.
NextGen declined to detail the exact amount it is spending for each campaign.
“Climate change is an urgent threat—but it is also America’s opportunity to build a clean energy economy that strengthens our country and builds the jobs of the future,” said NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer. “It’s simply not enough to recognize the threat of climate change anymore—Americans are looking to our leaders for concrete solutions."
Steyer was the top donor to outside groups in the 2014 midterm election, with almost all of his spending focused on getting politicians to fight climate change. This year, he’s pushed 2016 candidates to adopt his goal of moving the country to 50% clean energy by 2030, with the eventual target of getting to 100% clean energy by 2050.
NextGen also has field organizers on the ground in key states, and also has been lobbying top political donors to pressure candidates on climate from a different direction.
Steyer is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton, and he has already hosted a fundraiser for her this year, but he's praised other Democratic candidates' climate plans as well.