Tell the Democratic National Committee: Hold a climate debate

Democratic National Committee

Update: More than 200,000 signed our petition calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to host a presidential primary debate on climate solutions. But on June 6, DNC Chair Tom Perez said the party won't host an official climate debate or allow candidates to participate in unofficial debates. The backlash has been fast and fierce. After Perez rejected our demand, over 50 DNC members – more than 10% of the voting membership – submitted their own resolution calling for a debate. Now we need to ramp up the pressure and tell Perez and the rest of party that we need a climate debate.

The next president of the United States must be prepared to take bolder, faster climate action than any leader has before. But the media is still ignoring the issue, giving cover to politicians who refuse to take action.

We need to put climate change on the national political stage. One powerful way to do that is through a presidential primary debate dedicated to the issue. Holding a climate-centered debate would highlight the climate crisis at a time when more people than ever are tuned in to national politics – and force candidates to be explicit about their commitments to meet the scale of the crisis.

Voters deserve to know:

  • Which candidates commit to acting on climate change as a "Day One" priority when in office

  • Whether presidential candidates support the Green New Deal or can offer their own climate plan that also meets the scale of the crisis

  • Candidates' plans for a managed phase-out of fossil fuel production and end to the expansion of fossil fuel extraction

  • How candidates would protect frontline communities and ensure a transition for workers that leaves no one behind

  • How candidates would help communities adapt to the climate impacts already happening

  • Whether candidates believe that fossil fuel companies should pay their fair share of climate costs and how they will make sure it happens

The first two Democratic debates are happening this summer in two cities with deep ties to the crisis. Miami is one of the world's most vulnerable cities with respect to sea level rise and Detroit, the former center of the global automotive industry, has long struggled with the challenges of deindustraliziation. Either would provide a powerful backdrop for a debate on this complex crisis and its solutions.

In the primary season, unless the DNC prioritizes the issue, we know that news networks and other debate host organizations won't ask more than one or two token debate questions on climate change. We have to demand that it leads now.

To: Democratic National Committee
From: [Your Name]

Hold a 2020 presidential primary debate focused on climate action.