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 BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSinema's office outlines opposition to tax rate hikes The CFPB's data overreach hurts the businesses it claims to help Runaway higher ed spending gains little except endless student debt MORE, former Texas Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeSupport for governors sliding in states without vaccine mandates: survey Abbott bans vaccine mandates from any 'entity in Texas' Abbott disapproval rating up 8 points to 59 percent in San Antonio area: poll MORE, California Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisObama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech Biden's safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet MORE and Minnesota Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Biden holds meetings to resurrect his spending plan 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.


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 SandersSanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden must keep progressive promises or risk losing midterms Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds MORE, New Jersey Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave Biden's Big Labor policies will create next round of inflation Airlines should give flight attendants 10 hours of rest between flights: FAA 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: Steven Donziger sentencing is meant to have a 'chilling effect' on environmentalists Marianne Williamson calls federal judge's handling of Steven Donziger case 'unconstitutional' Marianne Williamson calls on Biden to drop efforts to extradite Assange MORE, Ohio Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Two senior House Democrats to retire MORE, businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerYouth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds Overnight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline MORE and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldThe Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Ralph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads MORE (R), who is challenging President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE in the Republican primary.

Democratic hopefuls Andrew YangAndrew YangBill Maher pushes back on criticism of Chappelle: 'What the f--- was that reaction?' Progressive economic theories run into some inconvenient truths Andrew Yang weighs in on Dave Chappelle: Artists should get 'wide berth' for self-expression 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.