The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Activists at DNC Headquarters Demand Climate Debate
By Eoin Higgins
We want a climate debate.
That's the message from more than a dozen progressive groups and organizations who descended on the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Wednesday to demand the party devote a debate to the climate crisis in the presidential primary debates.
The demonstration featured speeches and the delivery of 200,000 petitions to the DNC demanding the party provide a space for candidates to discuss how they will handle the crisis.
"The DNC is making it clear that the adults who got us into this crisis are unwilling to be the leaders to now solve this problem," U.S. Youth Climate Strike national finance director Karla Stephan said in a statement.
"We're not giving up — and we're not settling for soundbites," said Stephan. "We demand action."
The protest is a direct response to a Tuesday post on Medium from DNC chair Tom Perez, who wrote that it would be unfair to prioritize one issue over others. The DNC "must remain neutral in both practice and perception," wrote Perez.
"If we change our guidelines at the request of one candidate who has made climate change their campaign's signature issue, how do we say no to the numerous other requests we've had?" Perez wrote. "How do we say no to other candidates in the race who may request debates focused on an issue they've made central to their own campaigns?"
However, as The Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick pointed out, the climate crisis isn't seen as a marginal issue to the party's base.
The progressive argument against Perez is that a debate around climate change does not amount to a simple "pet issue," but rather one that voters and candidates alike have prioritized as an all-encompassing threat impacting people's everyday lives.
Green groups sounded off on the DNC decision in a series of statements.
"The irony of Tom Perez and the Democratic National Committee rejecting a climate debate while holding the upcoming debate in Miami, a city already impacted by storms and sea level rise, is not lost on us," said 350 Action's North America director Tamara Toles O'Laughlin.
"The DNC is effectively denying the will of the people, when really they should've learned lessons from the 2016 election," added O'Laughlin. "All of us deserve to know how the next U.S. president plans to act on Day One to protect our health, safety, and democracy."
Time is running out, said CREDO Action campaign manager Brandy Doyle.
"We don't have time for this," said Doyle. "We can't wait another four years for the Democratic Party to start taking the climate crisis seriously."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
- 2020 debates: Campaigns go public with anger at Democratic ... ›
- Tell the Democratic National Committee: Hold a climate debate ›
- Why Is the DNC Stifling Climate Change Debate in 2020? | GQ ›
- DNC Faces Outrage as It Announces It Will Not Host 2020 Debate ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Toxic Waste Will Continue to Grow for Decades Even if All U.S. Drilling and Fracking Halts Today, New Report Says
By Jessica Corbett
For more than three decades, the U.S. government has mismanaged toxic oil and gas waste containing carcinogens, heavy metals and radioactive materials, according to a new Earthworks report — and with the country on track to continue drilling and fracking for fossil fuels, the advocacy group warns of growing threats to the planet and public health.
Newly adopted guidelines set forth by the European Commission Tuesday aim to tackle climate change by way of the financial sector. The move comes to bolster the success of the Sustainable Action Plan published last year to reorient capital flows toward sustainable investment and manage financial risks from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues.