2020’s first presidential debate does not have climate as discussion topic

“It is critical that every debate includes questions that ask the candidates what they would do to address climate change and environmental injustice.”

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Tuesday’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden has released the official topics to be discussed and, unfortunately, the climate is not on that list. 

The debate will be hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates and is hosted by moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. The topics expected to be discussed are:

  • The Trump and Biden Records 
  • The Supreme Court 
  • Covid-19 
  • The Economy 
  • Race and Violence in our Cities 
  • The Integrity of the Election

As Common Dreams states, while the topics are subject to change, the initial exclusion of the greatest crisis facing humanity sparked backlash from environmentalists, who characterized the ongoing neglect of the climate emergency as yet another dereliction of duty by the corporate media.

“At a time when wildfires are burning down an entire coast, it’s absolutely unconscionable for the media to dismiss climate change as a topic in the first presidential debate. Poll after poll shows the climate crisis looms large on the minds of voters across the country; an NPR survey released yesterday showed it was the single most important issue among Democrats. Young Republican voters also list climate as their top concern,” says Varshini Prakash, executive director of the youth-led Sunrise Movement. 

According to NPR, thirty-six senators, spearheaded by Ed Markey, D-Mass., signed a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, urging that climate change receive more attention.

“It is critical that every debate includes questions that ask the candidates what they would do to address climate change and environmental injustice. Without these topics, any discussion on the economy, racial justice, public health, national security, democracy, or infrastructure would be incomplete,” the letter states. 

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