Memos & Research

Trump’s Out of Iowa Debate, But Is Climate Change In?

Jan 28, 2016

With 2015 as the hottest year on record and climate change threatening Iowa’s agriculture industry, caucus-goers deserve to hear the Republican candidates answer tough questions on climate change and the clean energy economy. Here’s why – and some suggested questions for the moderators:

  • Reports show that Midwestern communities are economically threatened by climate change to the tune of $850 million to $12 billion in potential economic losses in Iowa alone.
  • Meanwhile, a recently released Monmouth University poll reveals that nearly 2-in-3 voters nationally, and over 3-in-4 young Americans want action for our leaders on climate change.
  • Yet climate change continues to be ignored during the presidential debates – even as the United States signed one of the most significant international climate pacts in history in Paris, and Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump make headlines for their rapidly changing, and according to the Associated Press, grossly incorrect, policy prescriptions and climate denial.
  • And while most of the GOP candidates ignore the need for clean and renewable energy standards, Iowans and the nation are embracing it. According to Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad, wind provides nearly 30 percent of Iowa’s electricity, more than any other state in the country, and is responsible for up to 7,000 jobs in Iowa.

To be helpful, we’ve crafted the following questions for the moderators to ask:

  • Over 75% of young Americans want their leaders to take action on climate change, yet if Donald Trump were on stage, he’d say climate change is a “hoax.” Do you agree and, if so, what would you say to these young people?
  • Can you definitively state your position on whether you believe in man-made climate change?
  • How would you incentivize the use of clean and renewable energy?
  • Would you roll back the significant gains the country has made to address dangerous climate change and curb harmful pollution? If so, what policies would you put in their place to protect the millions of Americans, especially those living in poor neighborhoods, at risk due to climate change?
  • NASA and NOAA scientists agree that 2015 was the hottest year on record, beating 2014’s record. As President, would you disagree with scientists and experts to deny the real and immediate impacts of climate change?

Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.