Democratic lawmakers demand climate questions in presidential debates
Democratic lawmakers are pushing for questions about climate change to be included in the upcoming presidential debate, renewing a frequent complaint from environmentalists that the topic has been overlooked in previous debates.
“In 2016, there was not a single question on climate change in any of the four presidential and vice-presidential debates. This cannot happen again,” according to a letter signed by 70 lawmakers that was spearheaded by Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.).
“The Commission on Presidential Debates must make climate change a centerpiece of the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential debates,” it adds. “Given the dire nature of the crisis, we ask that you break precedent and publicly call on the moderators to include climate in the topics that will be addressed during the debates.”
The letter was first reported by HuffPost.
The push to ensure a focus on climate change during the debates comes after the topic was frequently overshadowed by questions about health care, the economy and international affairs during the Democratic primary.
A number of environmental groups such as Sunrise Movement and Greenpeace pushed for a debate specifically dedicated to climate change, but the call was rejected by the party.
While climate change was not a regular feature during the primary debates, 2020 saw the most robust package of climate plans ever released by Democratic candidates.