VIDEO: Pete Buttigieg Ramps Up Call for the DNC to Host a Climate Debate

by Ryan Schleeter

July 15, 2019

UPDATE July 15, 2019, 5:40pm EDT: Joe Biden has also publicly restated his desire for an official climate debate, directing a message to the DNC in a video captured by Greenpeace USA activists outside a campaign event in Des Moines today. 

Cedar Rapids, Iowa — At the Progress Iowa Corn Feed this weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg spoke publicly for the first time in support of an official, DNC-sponsored debate on the climate crisis. In a video captured by Greenpeace activists, Buttigieg is asked if he would send a message to the DNC asking for a climate debate. He responds, “I’d be very eager to debate climate and I hope we get the opportunity to do that.”

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

“The first Democratic primary debate delivered a woefully inadequate discussion of climate change policy. If we’re going to avert climate emergency in the next decade, we need to know where those vying to be our next president stand today. That’s why hundreds of thousands of voters and the overwhelming majority of candidates themselves support an official debate on the climate crisis. There’s no more time to waste, and we’re glad to see candidates like Mayor Pete ramp up the pressure on the DNC.”

Five other candidates — John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Tim Ryan, and Seth Moulton — also delivered video messages from the event pressuring the DNC to host a debate focused on climate change. Delaney, Gillibrand, Ryan, and Moulton had all previously been on record supporting a climate debate, while Hickenlooper had not yet taken a position. Twenty-one Democratic presidential candidates have now voiced their support for a climate debate [1].

A June Data for Progress poll [2] showed that 41 percent of voters, including 64 percent of Democrats and left-leaning independents, support an official climate debate compared to just 27 percent of voters opposed. The DNC’s executive committee will vote on two resolutions in August [3], one calling for a DNC-organized debate on the climate crisis and another allowing candidates to participate in third-party forums.







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,

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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