Washington, DC — On the heels of the IPCC’s latest report, once again sounding the alarm on climate impacts and underlining the need to drastically cut emissions by 2030, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez has written a resolution to introduce at the August DNC National Meeting in San Francisco (find all the resolutions here). Over the past several months, hundreds of thousands of voters have signed a petition calling on Perez and the DNC to host a climate-specific presidential debate to showcase the nuanced plans Democratic candidates have to tackle the climate crisis. Despite support for a climate debate from the public, DNC delegates, and the majority of well-polling presidential candidates, the DNC has recalcitrantly refused to host a climate debate, and has informed candidates that their participation in alternative climate debates would disqualify them from future DNC debates.
Dozens of delegates seeking to reflect the will of the public have submitted a resolution that supports either a DNC sponsored climate debate, or lifting the ban on alternative debates. But Perez has responded by introducing his own resolution that notes that candidates are speaking plenty about climate change on their own, and surrenders responsibility for providing a forum to discuss the issue in more depth.
Associate Director U.S. Policy for 350 Action, Natalie Mebane responded, saying:
“The fact that DNC Chairman Tom Perez is not only refusing to respond to the public’s demand for a climate debate, but is actively working to stymie the DNC’s response is a shameful abdication of leadership. This resolution, and Perez’s blasé response to the impacts of the climate crisis on our health, safety, economy and democracy, have us looking forward to two upcoming elections: 2020 of course, and the next election for DNC Chair.
“350 Action calls on DNC delegates to continue doing the work they were called to do: represent the American people and vote to support a DNC-sanctioned climate debate. In the coming decades, people will not look back at this moment and wonder if the DNC held firm to its own arbitrary protocols. They will wonder why the DNC failed to face this crisis head on, and agree as a party about the scale of action required to tackle it.
“Climate forums like those hosted by CNN and MSNBC are trying to respond to the public demand for a climate debate. We are at a crisis and it is time for the DNC to treat climate change like one of the most important issue facing humanity, because it is. Previous independent forums like the CNN climate forum have only garnered a small fraction of the standard DNC debates’ viewership. People across America deserve a true climate debate.”
Contact: Lindsay Meiman, 350 Action, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (347) 460-9082