Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meeting

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Democratic National Committee on Thursday voted against a resolution that would allow for a climate-focused debate during the Democratic presidential primary.

The move sparked loud and angry backlash from climate change activists who believe the Democratic Party should change the rules to allow for a debate focused solely on climate issues.



Activists from the Sunrise Movement stood on chairs and shouted at the members of the Resolution Committee after the decision came to a vote.

"It seems like the base wants this, the candidates want this, the energy is behind this, but then it's the DNC leadership saying no and we're just trying to figure out why," Sunrise Movement member Jackie Ali Cordoba told ABC7 News.

Nearly every single Democratic presidential candidate has said they would support a climate change debate and several have signed up for a climate change forum next month, but the DNC says sanctioning an official climate debate is a slippery slope.

"If you have a climate debate, you need to have a debate for every issue areas," Xochitl Hinojosa, communications director for the DNC, explained. "And there are more than 12 issues the Democratic Party believe are important, and there are more than 12 issues that the American voters wants to hear from our candidates about."

The DNC has planned 12 debates and climate change did come up in the first two. Still, these activists say it's not enough. The group said they plan to push for the issue to be brought to a vote again by the full DNC on Saturday.

"We're really not asking for a single topic debate, we're asking to talk about everything within the frame of the climate crisis," Muriel MacDonald, a Sunrise Movement member, said.

The vote came during the DNC's annual summer meeting at the Hilton in downtown San Francisco.

Thirteen Democratic presidential candidates are expected to speak on Friday during an event open to the public. All the front-runner candidates are expected to attend, except for former Vice President Joe Biden. He has recorded a video message that will be played instead.

The speeches start at 10 a.m. at the Hilton in San Francisco's Union Square.
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