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CNN Misses on Climate Crisis Questions in Night One of Democratic Debate


Tonight, the opening night of the second Democratic primary debate passed with insufficient discussion of the climate crisis. Following the first debate in June -- in which just 6 percent of questions over two nights addressed climate change policy -- we heard just one candidate, Elizabeth Warren, outline their vision for implementing a Green New Deal.

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Jack Shapiro said:

"We are in a climate emergency and millions of people around the world are already suffering the consequences. Pushing climate change policy to the backburner for the second debate in a row is an insult to those dealing with extreme heatwaves, storms, and droughts right now and to future generations for whom everything is at stake. We desperately need an official climate debate in which informed moderators can press those vying to be our next president on how they will address this existential threat."

Bernie Sanders also signaled that we must "take on the fossil fuel industry" in addressing corporate greed and influence in American politics.

"We deserve a world without fossil fuels, and our next president has the chance to lay the groundwork," Shapiro continued. "It's critical that Sanders and the rest of the field join Jay Inslee, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Tom Steyer in committing to end drilling, fracking, and mining for fossil fuels in the United States. No matter who wins in 2020, we know that Exxon and BP will throw their weight behind blocking climate action. Our next president must be willing to look their executives directly in the eye and say, 'no more.'"

Despite moderator Jake Tapper's statement early in the debate that healthcare was the "top issue for democratic voters," a CNN poll [1] released today showed that climate change is the number one issue voters want to hear debated.

Twenty-one candidates [2] are already on record calling on the DNC to host an official debate on the climate crisis.

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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