Jennifer Rennicks | November 20, 2019 | Climate Change, Elections, Energy Policy

The 10 candidates scheduled to seem at the November 20 Democratic debate in Atlanta co-hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC. Illustration courtesy of The Washington Post.

Tonight 10 Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage in Atlanta, Georgia in the latest of 12 scheduled debates throughout the Democratic presidential major season. I can really feel you groaning: “Another primary debate? Why should I spend more hours listening to those talking heads?” And whereas there are probably loads of issues competing for your time, for these of us who perceive the urgency of climate change and the want for sturdy government motion, the alternative to listen to moderators ask and candidates reply to questions on climate change is a strong motivator to observe yet one more debate. [PS – you’ll be able to stream the complete debate on or their apps beginning with a stay present starting at 8 p.‌m. ES‌T.]

Quite remarkably, and though we’re solely midway by means of the debate calendar with months to go earlier than the first votes are literally solid, there’s already been extra consideration paid to climate change and climate actions than in any presidential election cycle to date.

Over the final yr, many candidates have released detailed policy proposals particularly addressing the risk posed by climate change. And extra importantly, as a result of a coverage paper will be written by workers, we’ve had two probabilities to listen to candidates discuss in-depth about the threats from climate change and how they plan to handle it. The first was in early September when 10 candidates took part in a seven-hour long climate town hall hosted by CNN, which one Vox commentator known as “the most substantive discussion of climate change policies ever broadcast on primetime television,” and the second was later that month when a lot of those self same candidates participated in a two-night time climate change forum hosted by MSNBC.

Why such a robust curiosity in climate change now? Likely a mix of (1) dire warnings from scientists (like this one earlier this month), (2) actual-time impacts being felt by communities throughout America from sea degree rise to crop declines, and (3) the energy and coordination of a youth-led climate movement who’ve lastly succeeded in pushing the climate difficulty into the prime tier for progressive voters and candidates.

Based on their proposals and statements supplied at the city corridor/discussion board, it’s honest to say that the majority candidates assist a mixture of regulatory motion in addition to main new laws, which is necessary as a result of attaining the aggressive targets that scientists say is crucial to maintain warming to acceptable ranges would nearly definitely require the latter coupled with sturdy government motion.

So what to look for on tonight’s debate stage? According to the Washington Post, tonight’s co-host, climate change is certainly one of the probably prime tier points:

The paper has pulled collectively a helpful comparison where all the declared candidates stand on a range of climate-related issues we may hear about: Green New Deal (which we wrote about earlier this year), the Paris Climate Agreement, fossil fuels vs. clear energy, or the idea of carbon taxes.

We’ll be following together with this debate and others to return, and when the primaries have wrapped up, we’ll start the subsequent spherical of our ‘Where the Candidates Stand’ weblog sequence profiling the place presidential candidates from all the main events stand on climate and energy points to assist voters make an knowledgeable alternative. Stay tuned for that in the summer season of 2020 and watch for this hashtag: #Election2020

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