The Democratic Party Just Got Hit With Hundreds of Thousands of Demands for a Climate Debate

“We’re not settling for soundbites.”

MaryFrances Vorbach/Greenpeace

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Activists gathered Wednesday at the steps of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington, DC, to demand a climate change debate for the 23 contenders in the 2020 Democratic primary.

As Mother Jones reporter Rebecca Leber wrote Tuesday:

The pressure for a debate on climate change is only escalating since the Democratic National Committee rejected a call to devote one of its dozen debates to a subject that’s grown in urgency and salience among the Democratic base.

At Wednesday’s rally, organizers delivered more than 200,000 petition signatures, collected by groups like Greenpeace, US Youth Climate Strike, Sunrise Movement, 350 Action, and Women’s March National, asking the DNC to organize a climate debate.

One of the activists, Karla Stephan of US Youth Climate Strike, told Mother Jones that even if the DNC doesn’t agree to hold a debate centered on climate change, she wants the candidates to at least to agree to one so they can still hold the debate. If candidates engage in debates not sanctioned by the DNC, they risk being barred from the main stage.

Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic frontrunner, reportedly expressed his support for a climate change debate Tuesday in a video that Greenpeace recorded in Iowa. Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA, said that they will “continue pressing every candidate to support a climate debate,” adding that the debate “has to do with economic justice, racial justice, generational justice.”

“All of these groups have power on their own, but together we are unstoppable.” Stephan said, “We’re not settling for soundbites.”

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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