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Not Even Fox News Can Sideline the Climate Crisis From Presidential Debates

by Ryan Schleeter

September 28, 2020

"Not even Fox moderators can write climate change completely out of Tuesday’s debate — it touches everything."

September 28, 2020 — Tomorrow, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will square off in the first of three primetime debates ahead of the general election in November. Hosted by Fox’s Chris Wallace in Cleveland, OH, tomorrow’s debate is expected to cover the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, “race and violence” in cities, and election integrity. Notably absent from that list at first glance is climate change.

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner John Noël said: 

“It’s no surprise to see the climate crisis brushed aside at a presidential debate hosted by Fox News. The network has been a playground for climate denialists and a hotbed of anti-science conspiracy theories for years. But not even Fox moderators can write climate change completely out of Tuesday’s debate — it touches everything.

“We can’t talk about jobs and the economy without mentioning the incredible opportunity to put millions of people back to work by investing in clean energy. We can’t talk about COVID-19 without acknowledging the deadly fires and smoke putting millions of people on the West Coast at greater risk of catching the virus. And we can’t talk about the integrity of our elections without recognizing the hold that fossil fuel money has over too many of our politicians.

“We know Trump and the Republicans won’t make these connections. Trump has spent his time in office peddling denial and misinformation while orchestrating a bailout for oil and gas CEOs. It will be up to Joe Biden to show that he understands the full stakes of the climate crisis, and that we cannot separate climate action from social, economic, and racial justice. Biden has a critical opportunity to motivate millions of young voters who want to put climate champions in office. Tomorrow evening, we hope to see him make the most of his opportunity to speak to them.”

Since the beginning of the Democratic primary in 2019, Greenpeace has tracked the climate platforms of each candidate for president from the two major parties. Heading into November, Joe Biden has a 75.5/100 (B+) in the Greenpeace climate 2020 scorecard, showing how much the baseline for political action to advance environmental justice and climate solutions has shifted. Donald Trump, meanwhile, has a 0/100 (F).

ENDS

Note: To maintain independence, Greenpeace USA does not endorse or oppose any political party, candidate, or elected official. We work to hold all candidates for office to the standard that science says is necessary to avert climate crisis, which means supporting a Green New Deal and ending fossil fuels.

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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