Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum

Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum

Five of the leading Democratic presidential hopefuls have not confirmed their participation in an MSNBC climate forum slated for this week.

Front-runner and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Poll: Biden leads in Iowa ahead of caucuses The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE, former Texas Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign MORE, California Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? MORE and Minnesota Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE have not committed to being a part of the two-day climate forum to be held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., a university official confirmed to The Hill.

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The candidates' decisions to skip the event would be a departure from the attendance of all of the ten highest polling hopefuls at CNN's 7-hour climate town hall that was held earlier this month. 

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Poll: Biden leads in Iowa ahead of caucuses The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE, New Jersey Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Black caucus in Nevada: 'Notion that Biden has all of black vote is not true' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Buttigieg on polarization: 'We don't have to choose between being bold and being unified' Buttigieg: America 'united in mourning' Kobe Bryant's death MORE will be the highest-profile Democratic names appearing at the MSNBC event. All three candidates have released individual climate policies.

Other candidates who will be speaking at the Thursday and Friday all-day events include Democratic candidates who did not make it onto CNN's stage, such as author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson says she supports Yang in Iowa caucuses Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Marianne Williamson drops out of 2020 race MORE, Ohio Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanOffice of Technology Assessment: It's time for a second coming Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far GM among partners planning .3B battery plant in Ohio MORE, businessman Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerYang qualifies for New Hampshire debate stage Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Poll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire MORE and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldRepublican group calls for 'President Pence' amid impeachment trial Weld says Trump wants reporters to 'roam free' in Iran, but not US Trump primary challengers left off Wisconsin ballot MORE (R), who is challenging President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE in the Republican primary.

Democratic hopefuls Andrew YangAndrew YangButtigieg: America 'united in mourning' Kobe Bryant's death 'The worst news': Political world mourns loss of Kobe Bryant Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to Trump tweet, Senate trial witnesses MORE and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will also attend.

Friday's portion of the climate forum will coincide with another forum being held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that is focused on LGBTQ issues. 

A representative for Warren's campaign referenced the Iowa forum as the reason why the candidate, who has been consistently polling in second or third place, will be skipping the climate event.

"She will be holding a town hall and participating in the LGBTQ+ presidential forum. She will also have a specific stop to talk about how we take on climate change," the spokesperson said.

Representatives for the four other campaigns not attending the MSNBC event did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Candidates committed to attend the LGBTQ forum include Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, Warren and Williamson.

Monica Medina, a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official under former President Obama who is helping to organize the climate forum in conjunction with Our Daily Planet, said the candidates who are making the event were able to arrange their schedules so they could attend the climate forum Thursday and still attend the LGBTQ forum Friday.

Sanders and Castro are both speaking at the climate event Thursday. Booker is scheduled for Friday morning, with Buttigieg in the early afternoon.

Medina added that it was important for candidates to attend this week's event, despite the fact that it is the second major forum to be held on the issue.

"We certainly think it's important to have as much discussion about this topic as possible and even the prior climate forum had some limits to what it covered and a different format and wasn’t targeted to students," Medina told The Hill.

"I would think it would be very valuable for the public to have all the candidates, particularly the ones in the top tier."

She said that the fact that the MSNBC forum will be largely focused on students would provide candidates time to appeal to an important voter base.

"We really hope that as many candidates as possible will be there to participate in this forum. It's an all-student audience and student questions, since this is so important to exciting young people on the issue." 

Polls show climate change is a top voting issue for Democrats and is an especially important topic amongst young voters.