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Inslee pushes DNC for climate-focused debate

Inslee pushes DNC for climate-focused debate
© Greg Nash

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington bans open carry of weapons at state capitol, public protests Washington state to provide free menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms Cuomo signs legislation restoring voting rights to felons upon release from prison MORE (D) sent a letter to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE on Tuesday urging the party to "ensure that the climate crisis is on the agenda."

Inslee, a long-shot candidate, told Perez the issue requires a "full debate" to determine which candidate can best solve the "existential crisis" of climate change.

"The Democratic Party’s response to climate change cannot only be a few quick questions in the first debates where, in 60 seconds, candidates merely agree that this issue is important, and move on," Inslee wrote.

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"We need a full debate to really wrestle with who has the best plans to defeat this existential crisis, who has demonstrated the commitment it will take to get this job done, and who understands the scale of ambition necessary to see this mission through to completion," he added.

Inslee first circulated a petition calling for a climate debate in April; other candidates have since followed suit.

Fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas Sanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy MORE (D-Mass.) echoed that call, and a trio of senators wrote NBC to ask for debate centered on climate change.  

The Sierra Club, Credo, MoveOn and other environmental groups have also called for a debate with that singular focus.

Inslee aims to make climate change a defining policy issue, centering his campaign around the dangers of global warming as he looks to set himself apart in a crowded Democratic primary field.