Democratic Candidates Make Climate a Priority

Spotlight Activity: Democratic Candidates Make Climate a Priority

In early September, Democratic presidential primary candidates spoke on a variety of climate issues in the first-ever climate town hall hosted by CNN. The seven hour televised event gave each of the 10 candidates a dedicated time to speak on their policy platforms to combat climate change, and to answer questions posed by audience members and CNN’s hosts. 

This event marks a major turning point in the 2020 presidential race, turning climate change – ranked a top issue for Democratic voters – into a major responsibility for candidates to approach. The event spurred all of the candidates who hadn’t already released climate change policy proposals to compile platforms based on scientific evidence and in-depth policy research. Additionally, giving each candidate a 30-45 minute spotlight to discuss the nuances of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience policies brought the climate conversation in the public eye from a simple discussion of whether climate change is real to a nuanced conversation of topics from energy efficiency policies to environmental justice issues. 

All of the candidates engaged with the policy proposal known as the Green New Deal, a comprehensive plan to mobilize all available resources to transform the American economy to a carbon-neutral, sustainable economy, while generating thousands of “green jobs” and promoting environmental justice. Additionally, many weighed in on their positions on carbon pricing, natural disaster response, and public lands issues.

While the Trump Administration continues to deny the need for meaningful climate action and push for the expansion of high-emission coal energy, it is important for nuanced issues combating climate change and promoting resilience to have their time in the national spotlight.

Status: Right Direction

Recent climate-related disasters like wildfires, floods, and hurricanes have made the reality of climate change impossible for many Americans to ignore. Bringing real climate solutions into the national electoral conversation is a major step toward changing the public’s perception of federal climate policy and shedding light on practical solutions.

Take Action

We’ve seen the climate town hall, now we want an official climate debate. Send a message to the Democratic National Committee calling for an official primary debate focused on climate.

The consequences of climate change are affecting every American – and we need our next President to respond with meaningful, positive climate action. American voters should be informed on the Democratic primary candidates’ positions on climate change and the solutions they bring to the table. Bring climate change to the center of the presidential race: Please create an official climate debate.

Send Action Alert Message to:


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Washington, DC 20003

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