Biden backs calls for 2020 debate focused on climate

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenIowa Poll: Most likely caucus goers wish several or most candidates would drop out Iowa Poll: Most likely caucus goers wish several or most candidates would drop out Meghan McCain: ‘I feel slighted as a conservative’ by Biden flip-flop on Hyde Amendment MORE is backing calls for a 2020 presidential debate focused solely on climate change a week after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced it would not host one.

“Yeah, I’m all in,” the White House hopeful said Tuesday at a campaign rally in Iowa when asked about a debate dedicated to climate change. 

Last week, the DNC informed Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeConservative groups tell Congress: ‘We oppose any carbon tax’ Conservative groups tell Congress: ‘We oppose any carbon tax’ The Hill’s Morning Report – Democrats wonder: Can Nadler handle the Trump probe? MORE (D), who has built his 2020 campaign around environmental issues, that it would not hold a debate focused on climate.

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That decision has been met with backlash, including from many other 2020 contenders who say a climate-specific debate is warranted given the severity of the crisis.

According to Greenpeace, 16 Democratic candidates, including Biden, have called for a climate debate.

“Today, Joe Biden proved he’s listening to the thousands of people across the country who have called for an official debate on the climate crisis,” Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director Janet Redman said in a statement. “More people than ever are reeling from climate impacts, and they deserve an ally in the White House who’s going to act with the courage and urgency this crisis merits.”

DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s ‘wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE responded to the backlash on Saturday, saying that a climate change debate is “not practical” after a group of activists confronted him about the issue.

“It’s just not practical,” Perez told the activists after delivering remarks at the Florida Democratic Party’s Leadership Blue gala. “And as someone who worked for Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaCastro introduces plan to combat lead poisoning after Flint visit Obama sends best wishes to David Ortiz after shooting: ‘Get well soon, Papi’ Obama sends best wishes to David Ortiz after shooting: ‘Get well soon, Papi’ MORE, the most remarkable thing about him was his tenacity to multitask, and a president must be able to multitask.”

Biden on Tuesday also committed to a phaseout of fossil fuel production in the U.S. A phaseout was briefly mentioned in the former vice president’s $5 trillion climate plan rolled out last week.

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