Gavin Newsom is coming for your car, and he wants you to know it

By Wes Venteicher | 05/09/2024 06:25 AM EDT

The talked-about presidential contender is carving out an underutilized lane: climate crusader.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is shown at a podium with solar panels in the background on Thursday, April 25, 2024.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) touts California's renewable energy storage capacity at a recent event in Winters, California. Wes Venteicher/POLITICO

SACRAMENTO, California — Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking California’s climate story — with its big ambitions and political risks — on the road.

The Democratic governor, Biden surrogate and potential presidential contender is pushing aggressive climate action in appearances from China to the Vatican, selling it as a winning issue beyond the borders of his deep-blue state.

His pitch: The effects of climate change are upon us, and the world — including California — ignores them at their peril.


California is “meeting the moment head-on as the hots get hotter, the dries get drier, the wets get wetter, simultaneous droughts and rain bombs,” Newsom said last month in a Central Valley orchard outfitted with solar panels and batteries. “We have to address these issues with a ferocity that is required of us.”