Medical groups warn climate change is a 'health emergency'

FILE - In this June 6, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Atlanta. As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for their first 2020 primary debate this week, 77 medical and public health groups aligned on Monday, June 24, to push for a series of consensus commitments to combat climate change _ bluntly defined by the organizations as “a health emergency.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

WASHINGTON — Dozens of medical and public health groups are aligning to push for a series of consensus commitments to combat climate change, bluntly defined by the organizations as "a health emergency." This comes as Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for their first 2020 primary debate this week.

The new climate change agenda released Monday by 74 groups including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association comes amid early jostling among Democratic candidates over whose environmental platform is more progressive.

The groups are pressing elected officials and presidential candidates to "meet and strengthen U.S. commitments" under the 2015 United Nations climate agreement from which President Donald Trump has vowed to withdraw.

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