Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on stage the first presidential debate of 2016, 26 September 2016. Photo: Adrees Latif / REUTERS

By Brian Kahn
27 September 2016

(Climate Central) – Monday’s presidential debate featured spirited back-and-forths on tax returns, how to heal divides in the U.S. and the candidates’ economic plans. Notably absent, though, was any thorough discussion about climate change.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump differ wildly on their views on climate policy and whoever is elected president will play a large role in shaping global climate policy in the decades to come.

Despite their differences, debate moderator Lester Holt left climate change by the wayside in favor of other topics. This follows in the footsteps of the 2012 presidential debates when not a single climate question was asked of either candidate.

“Candidates absolutely should be asked to address the issue of how they will deal with global warming, if elected,” Ed Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication and a collaborator on a project with Climate Central, said. “By a ratio of about 3-to-1, voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports climate action, and are less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes climate action.”

Donald J. Trump's tweet from 6 November 2012, denying global warming: 'The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.' Graphic: Twitter

“Candidates absolutely should be asked to address the issue of how they will deal with global warming, if elected,” Ed Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication and a collaborator on a project with Climate Central, said. “By a ratio of about 3-to-1, voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports climate action, and are less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes climate action.”

That same poll notes a discrepancy between Trump and Clinton supporters’ interest in the hearing about the topic. Clinton supporters wanted an average of 10 minutes devoted to climate change while Trump supporters only wanted four minutes in comparison. [more]

The Biggest Loser in Last Night’s Debate? Climate Change

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