10 Democratic presidential candidates will participate in CNN climate town hall
Posted August 19, 2019 9:33 a.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2019 3:34 p.m. EDT
CNN — Ten Democratic candidates for president have qualified for next month's Climate Crisis Town Hall, which will air exclusively on CNN platforms.
CNN is devoting the evening of Sept. 4 to the climate crisis. Eight of the Democratic candidates initially accepted CNN's invitation to discuss this critically important issue: former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; and businessman Andrew Yang.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California initially declined CNN's invitation, citing a scheduling conflict. But her campaign informed CNN on Tuesday morning that the senator would participate.
"We were happy to change our schedule to accommodate such a critical conversation," Harris spokeswoman Lily Adams said. "As Senator Harris has said, this is a climate crisis and is one of the most urgent reasons we need a new president."
With the release of a CNN poll on Tuesday, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro reached the polling threshold to participate in the event. A Castro campaign spokeswoman said he would attend.
CNN anchors Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon will moderate individual candidate segments, and CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir will join in the questioning throughout the event.
A CNN poll conducted in late April showed that 96% of Democrats favored taking aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change. The United Nations -- which projects that temperatures will rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030 -- has warned that governments must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."
Global warming would have several consequences. It would cause coastal cities to disappear under water, leaving hundreds of millions of people displaced and forced to migrate to dry areas. Some plants and animals would face extinction, and drought would result in lower crop yields. Meteorologists just delivered the latest warning sign of global warming: July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.
Candidates have until Wednesday to qualify for this town hall. CNN will extend invitations to Democratic presidential hopefuls who reach 2% in at least four Democratic National Committee-approved polls conducted between June 28 and Aug. 21.
The candidates, who will make back-to-back appearances, will take questions directly from a live studio audience in New York and a CNN moderator. The audience will be drawn from Democratic voters interested in the issue. The town hall will air live on CNN platforms around the world.