Jane Fonda Calls for Voting for Politicians Committed to Addressing Climate Change

Actor and climate activist Jane Fonda called for Americans to vote for “climate champions” up-and-down the ballot on Wednesday at the TIME100 Summit.

“Joe Biden provides us a context in which we can fight and he can be pressured,” Fonda said. “The orange guy, forget it. There’s no space to fight or disagree.”

While Fonda did not explicitly touch on Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, her comments seemed to be targeted in part to those on the left frustrated with the Biden Administration’s reluctance to call for a permanent ceasefire and its continued military aid to Israel as it carries out what critics see as a genocide. Some have pledged not to vote for him. A December 2023 New York Times/Siena College poll found that nearly three-quarters of voters between 18 and 29 disapprove of Biden’s response to Israel’s conduct in Gaza.

Fonda joined Greenpeace and other climate activists to advocate for Congress to pass the Green New Deal in 2019. She got arrested a few times for protesting. That legislation, a bipartisan bill that aims to bring down U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, has so far failed to clear Congress.

Fonda says she is tired of Republicans blocking important climate legislation backed by science. “If you can’t change the people, change the people,” she says. (Fonda runs a Climate PAC under her name.)

Fonda, who’s traces her love of the environment to her childhood; she was a tomboy who escaped to nature when “things weren’t so great at home.” She recalled how there used to be more birds and no freeway or smog in Los Angeles in the 30s, when she was born.

“Nature was where I found solace,” she says. “When nature began to disappear, I noticed.”

Fonda’s chat with Time Editor in Chief Sam Jacobs was the closing conversation of the Time100 Summit, which preceded closing remarks from TIME CEO Jessica Sibley.

The TIME100 Summit convenes leaders from the global TIME100 community to spotlight solutions and encourage action toward a better world. This year’s summit features a variety of speakers across a diverse range of sectors, including politics, business, health and science, culture, and more.

Speakers for the 2024 TIME 100 Summit include actor Elliot Page, designer Tory Burch, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, WNBA champion A’ja Wilson, author Margaret Atwood, NYSE president Lynn Martin, comedian Alex Edelman, professor Yoshua Bengio, 68th Secretary of State John Kerry, actor Jane Fonda, and many more.

The TIME100 Summit was presented by Booking.com, Citi, Merck, Northern Data Group, Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and Verizon.