Climate Leaders: Democratic Party’s Own Platform Makes Case For Presidential Debate on Climate Emergency

Jun 25, 2019

Russell Greene, Senior Strategic Adviser and Alan Minsky, Executive Director | Progressive Democrats of America

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Demands DNC Honor Party’s Commitment to Leading WWII-Scale National Climate Mobilization

June 25, 2019 (Los Angeles, CA) – Expressing alarm that the Democratic National Committee  (DNC) is refusing to host a presidential debate on the global climate emergency, a host of prominent climate leaders today released an open letter [see: ] to DNC Chair Tom Perez reminding him that refusing to do so violates the spirit, if not the intent, of the DNC’s own governing platform.
Described as “the ideas and beliefs that govern our party as a whole,” the 2016 Democratic Party Platform declares the following:
“Climate change poses an urgent and severe threat to our national security, and Democrats believe it would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to take the lead in combating the global climate emergency… We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II.”
The open letter calls on the DNC to host at least one presidential debate on the “global climate emergency” that honors the Democratic Party’s governing commitment to leading a “national mobilization” to “address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II.” 
The organization hosting the open letter, Progressive Democrats of America, invites members of the public – including all the Democratic presidential candidates – to add their names to the letter at 
“The Democratic Party doesn’t debate we’re in a climate emergency,” said Alan Minsky, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America. “So why is it debating whether to have a climate emergency debate?”
“The last Democratic platform made clear that we desperately needed emergency action on climate – and since it was adopted we’ve had the hottest year in human history,” said Bill McKibben, founder of “So it doesn’t seem too much to ask that the candidates, who have months and months of campaigning, devote a single evening to coming to grips with this crisis.”
Civil rights and climate justice activist Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. stated: “On behalf of future generations who will not have the liberty to debate this issue after the seas rise and their towns and farms are underwater, I call upon DNC Chairman Tom Perez to hold a climate debate now.”
“Climate change got almost no attention during the 2016 debate cycle,” said Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. “This time, we’re not settling for soundbites. To avoid climate crisis in the next decade, we need to know where those vying to be our next president stand today. A climate debate is our chance to find out who has what it takes to deliver the visionary promise of the Green New Deal and confront the fossil fuel executives standing in the way of progress.”
“The science says we’re in a climate emergency,” said Dr. Peter Kalmus, climate scientist at the UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science & Engineering. “It’s time we started acting like it.”
“To its credit, the Democratic Party acknowledges we’re in a climate emergency,” said Tom Weis, President of Climate Crisis Solutions. “Now Tom Perez needs to treat it like one by committing to a climate emergency debate.”

1 Comment

  1. James Vancil, Ph.D.

    James Anderson, the Harvard scientist who discovered the ozone hole, has estimated that we have five years to save ourselves from Climate Change []. Let’s get that World-War-II-scale initiative to save ourselves and future generations under way, pronto!