My Fellow Democratic Candidates for President: Let’s Debate Climate Change

My fellow Democratic candidates for President:

During the 2016 presidential debates, just 5 minutes and 27 seconds were devoted to discussing climate change. I’m sure you share my belief that we can not allow that to happen again in 2020.

That’s why today — on Earth Day — I’m calling on you all to join me in requesting that the DNC host an entire debate on climate change.

We have barely a decade to defeat climate change. And whether we shrink to this challenge, or rise to it, is the central question of our time — and it deserves a full DNC debate.

Some of you have already joined in the grassroots call for a climate debate, amplifying the voices of key progressive groups, such as MoveOn, the Youth Climate Strike, CREDO, Sunrise Movement, 350.org, and others. But together, as Democratic candidates, we can speak with one voice and demand that our party truly debates the future of our planet.

This is an urgent problem, and we can’t resolve it with soundbites and one-off questions. We need a full debate on climate change. Climate change is at the heart of every issue that matters to voters, and voters deserve to hear what 2020 presidential candidates plan to do about it.

Many of you have stressed the importance of climate change in your campaigns. That is good — but we need to do more as Democrats. Let’s ensure that we have a robust debate on the massive national mobilization we need to take to decarbonize our economy, starting right now.

There’s so much to talk about when it comes to our climate and our environment: Climate justice. The health impact that big polluters are having on our communities. Access to clean water. Creating union jobs in a clean energy economy. Protecting federal lands.

It’s going to take a national movement to defeat climate change. Each 2020 candidate needs to have a concrete plan to take on this challenge — and we deserve to hear those plans. Our future is at stake right here, right now. Please join me in calling on the DNC to host this crucial debate.

Jay Inslee