Scant mention of climate at U.S. president debate

With the U.S. military assisting with hurricane response, Greenpeace frustrated by lack of focus.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Updated Oct. 10, 2016 at 7:54 AM
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With the U.S. military responding to hurricane damage, an advocacy group called foul after neither U.S. presidential candidate heeded climate change.

At least 19 people in the United States and more than 900 people in Haiti were left dead in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, now dissipating as it moves out to sea. Matthew's persistence and other storms like it have led some to look for a link to climate change. With the U.S. military deploying at least two Navy vessels to assist with the response effort in Haiti, environmental group Greenpeace said it was frustrated with the lack of attention to climate issues from either major party candidates during Sunday night's debate.

"Climate change demands the attention of both candidates and their parties, and it is shameful that it was given so little," Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said in a statement emailed to UPI.

The word "climate" was uttered only once and by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who referenced climate change alongside a sweeping mention of her proposed energy policy. Republican Donald Trump in the past has scoffed at the notion that a warming climate was human-induced.

The climate concerns came less than a week after the civil aviation sector moved in support of a carbon-neutral future and enough signatures were deposited to put last year's climate agreement in Paris into force.

The Paris agreement calls on the global community to take action to address threats posed by a warming climate by cutting their emissions. The U.N. Environment Program cautioned that, even if all the commitments under the agreement materialize, emissions levels by 2030 could still potentially lead to a global average temperature increase of more than 3 degrees Celsius.

The success of the arrangement hinges in part on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Clinton backs the Paris agreement, while Trump said he would pull the United States out of the deal if elected.

The Sierra Club, which backs Clinton, said Trump lacks the "temperament" to be an effective leader.

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