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Watch the forum

You can catch the climate forum streaming live on NBC News Now, Telemundo and MSNBC on Thursday, September 19, from 9:30am–6:30pm, and Friday, September 20, 9am–3pm. See the detailed schedule of speakers here.

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Watch CNN’s Climate Crisis town halls

Three of the top five democratic candidates—Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden—won’t be participating in the forum this week. You can learn more about their perspectives on the climate crisis in these clips of CNN’s seven-hour session of town halls, held on September 4.

The Citizen Recommends: Climate Forum 2020

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, a Citizen board member, will co-moderate as 12 presidential hopefuls talk to young voters about the climate this week

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, a Citizen board member, will co-moderate as 12 presidential hopefuls talk to young voters about the climate this week

Young folks—who have grown up experiencing the increasingly worsening effects of climate change—know best that it’s an issue we can’t afford to put off. They know better, it seems, than even political parties: The Democratic National Committee voted down a proposal to hold a single issue debate focused on Climate Change. 

Do SomethingWhich is why Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, in partnership with MSNBC, Our Daily Planet, and New York magazine, is hosting a Climate Forum at Georgetown University this week. On Thursday and Friday, 12 presidential candidates will get an hour each to share their plan to address climate change and answer questions posed by students. (All candidates were invited, but three of the top five Democratic contenders—Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden—won’t be participating.) 

“Georgetown’s Climate Forum 2020 is the only presidential candidate forum on climate change consisting of Q&A from an entirely student audience,” Kelly Ogburn, Georgetown Institute’s director of communications, wrote via email.

Questions will be posed by young people in the room, as well as students across the country who are organizing watch parties on their campuses and can submit questions in real time. 

The forum is in part the result of pressure from young people who have been demanding U.S. politicians bring climate change to the forefront of the national conversation and take action towards mitigation. It falls a couple days before the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit on September 23rd. 

On Friday, as candidates at Georgetown are answering tough questions, many students around the world will be participating in a strike organized by the youth-led Sunrise Movement, which is encouraging millions of people in 120-plus countries around the world to walk out of school and work to demand that our leaders join our fight for a Green New Deal now. Many of those people will be watching the forum via livestream. 

Read MoreThursday’s lineup includes Democratic candidates Michael Bennet, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney, Tim Ryan and Julian Castro. On Friday, we’ll hear from Cory Booker, Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer and just one Republican candidate, Bill Weld. 

MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Ali Velshi—a Citizen board member—will moderate, and the event will be streamed live on NBC News Now and Telemundo. There will also be special coverage of the forum on MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi (Monday–Friday 3pm ET), All In with Chris Hayes (Monday–Friday 8pm ET) and elsewhere on MSNBC’s website.

The forum is open to Georgetown students, faculty and staff only, and is being organized by Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service. 

“The mission of GU Politics is to make politics more accessible to young people, in part by engaging the very candidates and players who are a part of the political process,” Ogburn says. “Hosting the Climate Forum will help us deliver on this promise, bringing candidates to campus to discuss directly with a nationwide student audience one of the most important issues to young voters.”

Photo courtesy Kelly Bell Photography / Flickr

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