Two Days of Student-Centered Conversation & Ideas
On September 19th & 20th, GU Politics hosted #ClimateForum2020, a conversation between presidential candidates and young voters on the issue of climate change. 12 contenders for the highest office in the land participated in the event held in Georgetown’s historic Gaston Hall, sharing their perspectives and proposed solutions. Moderated by MSNBC hosts Ali Velshi and Chris Hayes, the Climate Forum was co-hosted by MSNBC, Our Daily Planet, and New York Magazine. This student-centered event gave young voters a chance to ask candidates in-depth, specific policy questions on the issue of climate change, and was broadcast on MSNBC and streamed live to campuses across the country,
A variety of solutions were presented by different candidates: from air-carbon capture facilities, to electric vehicle mandates, to strengthening the Paris Agreement, a modified Green New Deal, and the ever-present carbon tax. Some candidates, like Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), stressed the merits of merging “environmental incentives and financial incentives,” noting the effectiveness of market responsiveness to previous global problems. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont stressed the urgency of the issue itself, telling the audience, “the planet that you and your children will be inheriting will be increasingly unhealthy and uninhabitable.” Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) struck a hopeful note, saying that “everything we do, must be done through the lens of the climate problem.” Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, the only Republican candidate to take the stage, spoke directly and succinctly on the federal government’s responsibility to act on climate change. “This is not a sacrifice. This is something we have to do,” Weld said.
The student audience came ready to ask substantive policy questions. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) was challenged on his historical support for the fracking industry. Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, received questions about the intersection of faith and climate change. Marianne Williamson was asked about her opposition to both nuclear energy and GMOs.
You can view these exchanges and more by checking out the full video of the event below. Or, relive the event through our Climate Forum 2020 photo album here.
Georgetown University's Gaston Hall
Thursday, September 19th, 2019