How does the salience of environmental issues influence climate policy adoption in the American states? This article considers how two aspects of public salience, issue problem status and issue attention, work with environmental interest group membership to influence climate policy adoption in the American states. We contribute to the theoretical development of issue salience and offer alternative measures that capture differences in salience across subnational units. We find evidence that states where climate change is perceived to be a problem, and where attention to environmental issues is high, are more likely to adopt relevant policies. Furthermore, states with Republican majorities in either legislative chamber are less likely to adopt climate policies. Our findings have implications for the impact of salience on the policy process.