2 july 2019

DNC to Consider Hosting Climate Change Debate

The Democratic National Committee is examining two proposals that could allow for a presidential debate focused solely on climate change
By Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder, Staff Writer US News, July 2, 2019,

The DNC executive committee is reportedly scheduled to vote on two resolutions regarding a presidential debate focused on climate change on Aug. 23. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mounting pressure from climate change activists appears to be working on the Democratic National Committee, which has taken up consideration of proposals that could allow a presidential debate on the topic.

The DNC executive committee gathered over the weekend and referred two resolutions regarding climate change discussions to a committee. The committee has scheduled a vote on the measures on Aug. 23, according to activist group Sunrise Movement. A DNC official confirmed Tuesday that the next phase of the resolution process will begin in late August.

Activists said that last week's debates proved a conversation focused solely on climate change is necessary. Roughly 15 minutes of the pair of two-hour debates were focused on the issue.

"Climate change is a serious crisis and emergency that deserves a full platform to be debated on," tweeted Sunrise Movement, the grassroots youth climate activist group that camped out in front of the DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C., last week in protest.

While several hurdles remain for the resolutions before a climate change debate could happen, the developments show a shift at the DNC.

Last month, the committee told Democratic presidential candidates that it would not host a climate debate and it would bar anyone who participated in one from future debates.

"While climate change is at the top of our list, the DNC will not be holding entire debates on a single issue area because we want to make sure voters have the ability to hear from candidates on dozens of issues of importance to American voters," the DNC said in a statement on the decision.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is focusing his campaign for president on tackling climate change, called the decision "deeply disappointing" at the time.

"The climate crisis merits a full discussion of our plans, not a short exchange of talking points," Inslee said in a statement.

Inslee and several other candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have said the DNC should reconsider hosting a climate change debate.

>>> Back to list