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Activists Want Democrats to Hold 2020 Primary Debate on Climate 

FILE - Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez speaks during the general session of the DNC winter meeting in Atlanta, Feb. 25, 2017.

SAN FRANCISCO — Democratic Party leaders are arguing over whether to hold a presidential primary debate exclusively on the climate crisis.

Hundreds of activists were at the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting Thursday in California, where an influential party committee was discussing the matter.

But Chairman Tom Perez shows no signs of rewriting the debate rules months into the campaign.

Perez opposes single-issue debates with multiple candidates on stage at the same time. The DNC instead has encouraged other groups to hold issue-based forums where candidates appear one at a time. Activists say that approach hasn't gotten climate policy enough attention.

The meeting came a day after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ended his presidential bid after failing to gain enough support for his pledge to make climate action the nation's top priority.