Steyer climate group cites Pope Francis in new ads

Tom SteyerTom SteyerProgressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Candidates want data privacy rules, except for their own campaigns Budowsky: Biden should pull together a 'dream team of rivals' MORE’s NextGen Climate group is using quotes from Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope tests negative for coronavirus, Vatican says Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing Pope Francis delivers special prayer for end to coronavirus pandemic MORE’s climate change encyclical in new campaign advertising.

The ads will run in Iowa, the first state to hold a nominating event for the 2016 presidential campaign, according to the Sunlight Foundation. 

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But the television and billboard ads rely only on quotes from Francis’s letter released last week, including, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”

“The release of last week’s encyclical was a watershed moment in the fight to build a clean energy future for our children and to tackle climate change once and for all,” NextGen said in a Thursday statement announcing the ads.

“In urgent and inspirational language, Pope Francis powerfully implored our leaders to take action on climate change, protect the most vulnerable, and save our common home. The Pope didn't just outline our moral responsibility and the crisis humanity faces: he called for swift action to build a more sustainable future for the next generation,” it said.

NextGen launched an ad on YouTube last week, putting the pope alongside the Pentagon and business leaders who have called for action on climate change.

“Who are elected officials listening to when it comes to climate change?” the ad asked, using images of GOP presidential contenders Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

In announcing that ad, Steyer spoke high of Francis’s message.

“Today Pope Francis added his voice to the growing chorus calling on our leaders to build a future for our children and tackle climate change once and for all,” he said.

“If not religious, military, or business leaders, who are elected officials listening to when it comes to climate change? It is time for our leaders to heed these voices and embrace solutions to the climate crisis.”