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The youth-led Sunrise Movement staged a series of protests to demand lawmakers take urgent action on the climate crisis and back the Green New Deal. Photo: Sunrise Movement / Twitter

By Jake Johnson

Sparking a torrent of backlash from Democratic White House contenders, environmental organizations, and youth climate leaders, the Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that it will not host a climate-specific presidential primary debate and will punish candidates who attend a debate hosted by any other organization.

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Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks during a campaign stop at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia on May 16. MANDEL NGAN / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

As new polling showed Tuesday that public support for Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign has continued to rise as she's introduced a series of ambitious policy proposals, the Democratic candidate unveiled a $2 trillion renewable energy and green manufacturing plan welcomed by climate campaigners as a boon for both the planet and U.S. workers.

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks into a megaphone after joining striking Stop & Shop workers on April 12 in Somerville, Massachusetts. Scott Eisen / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Environmental activists and advocacy groups praised Sen. Elizabeth Warren Monday after she promised that if she is elected president in 2020, she will ban new fossil fuel extraction leases for federally controlled lands and waters.

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Sen. Kamala Harris held a news conference after announcing her bid for president on Jan. 21. PBS NewsHour / YouTube screenshot

Kamala Harris on Monday became the latest Democratic presidential contender to back a Green New Deal, in what has become a "litmus test" for 2020 hopefuls, according to the youth-led Sunrise Movement that helped launch the ambitious economic and climate proposal.

"I support a Green New Deal and I will tell you why," the California Senator said during a CNN town hall in Iowa. "Climate change is an existential threat and we have got to deal with the reality of it."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders walks though the Playita community during a visit with the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 27, 2017. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

As advocacy groups urgently warn that Wall Street firms are moving to capitalize on Puerto Rico's plight in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria by extracting debt payments and pushing for the privatization of public services, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and several other Democratic senators on Wednesday to introduce a bill that would "provide an avenue to comprehensive debt relief" for the island.

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USAG- Humphreys / Flickr

Four Democratic senators sent a letter to Education Sec. Betsy DeVos this week calling out her support of President Trump's decision to pull out of Paris.

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The issue of climate change received a fair amount of attention on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Bernie Sanders reaffirmed his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, saying, "This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and future generations. Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that—unless we act boldly and transform our energy system in the very near future—there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren mentioned how huge energy companies have been allowed to destroy the environment due to governmental dysfunction and how a lack of unity among citizens allows oil companies to "fight off clean energy."

Al Gore also endorsed Clinton based in part on her climate stance.

During the day, environmental groups, business groups and politicians gathered for events outside the DNC in Philadelphia to discuss climate change and politics.

For a deeper dive:

News: Grist, Vox, State Impact, CNN, Politico, Huffington Post, Bloomberg

Commentary: Slate, Eric Holthaus column; New York Times editorial

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

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