Climate Affects Every Topic for First Presidential Debate. It Cannot Be Ignored on Tuesday

Climate is inextricably linked to each of the debate’s stated topics and its exclusion as a priority is unjustifiable.

Washington D.C. — Today, Chris Wallace released the topics for the first presidential debate, ignoring the most pressing issue impacting the long term health, safety, and prosperity of the country: climate change.

With fires continuing to rage in the West and extreme storms devastating the Gulf Coast, the midwest, and the northeast, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of the climate crisis on people’s lives. Climate has an outsized effect on every topic important to voters.

“Voters across the country are already living with the realities of the climate crisis – supercharged hurricanes, climate fires, Derechos, and other extreme weather events,” said Climate Power 2020 Executive Director Lori Lodes. “Chris Wallace and the other debate moderators ignored the climate crisis completely in 2016 — it’s unacceptable for that to happen again. Too much is at stake to overlook the consequences of the climate crisis any longer. Whether it’s the contrast between the candidates’ records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, racial justice, or the economy —all of the topics relate to the climate crisis and the need for bold action to address it.”

Climate remains a top priority for the majority of battleground state voters and must be included as a key focus in all of the debates. The climate crisis is linked to each of the topics for the first debate —giving Wallace ample opportunities to pose questions on the most pressing crisis of our lifetimes: