Evergreen Action Statement on Climate in the Vice Presidential Debate

Today, Evergreen Action Campaign Director Jamal Raad released the following statement on the climate discussion during the Vice Presidential debate.

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“Unlike the vast majority of debates in the 2020 election, tonight’s debate addressed substantive climate questions and did so within the first hour. This marks the first Vice Presidential debate to discuss climate since 2008, and only the second climate segment in a VP debate since the beginning of the 21st century.

“Moderators still have room to improve in upcoming debates, including by addressing climate change as an issue that affects all other issues, discussing the economic and human costs of inaction, and finally breaking the silence on environmental justice. But tonight’s debate was a strong step in the right direction towards thorough discussion of climate as a front-burner issue.

“Tonight, Kamala Harris stood on a national debate stage and declared that a Biden/Harris administration would decarbonize the power sector by 2035 and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process. Her answer spoke to the urgent need for action that Americans feel after facing record-breaking climate disasters this year.

“Vice President Pence treated climate science the way he treated the fly on his head: by ignoring reality. At the only debate in the West, Vice President Pence offered inadequate solutions for the millions of people who’ve suffered from wildfires this year. He insulted frontline communities in Puerto Rico and the Gulf who’ve experienced worsening hurricanes year after year by denying their experiences.

“Climate change is a winning issue. The public wants answers on whether their elected leaders will address this existential crisis. And they are excited by the potential for a climate mobilization built on clean energy standards, public investments, and environmental justice to revitalize our economy. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party should continue to lean into this popular message.”

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