On Monday, CNN announced the lineup for a town hall event about climate change that it plans to host next month, and popular New York businessman Andrew Yang made the cut to participate in it.
The event will feature eight candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; and Andrew Yang, per CNN.
While Sen. Kamala Harris was invited to participate in the CNN town hall, which the network had allotted and invited nine candidates to, she said she could not participate in the event due to a scheduling conflict, per CNN.
According to CNN, the town hall will feature questions from CNN moderators and a live studio audience, which the network said will be selected from a group of Democratic voters who are interested in the issue of climate change.
The town hall event comes at a time when discussions about global warming are heating up. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), July 2019 was the warmest month since records began to be kept in 1880. The 2019 record broke a previous one made just a few years back in July 2016, per a report from USA Today.
According to polling data from RealClearPolitics, Yang currently polls in 8th place among the Democratic candidates for the party’s nomination. The 44-year-old from New York polls about half a point below Booker, and just 0.2 points ahead of Klobuchar, per RealClearPolitics.
The climate change town hall could be a course correction for Yang, who, according to The Atlantic, gave a “terrible” answer to a question about climate change at the CNN Democratic debate in July.
“Citing a scheduling conflict, Sen. Kamala Harris of California declined CNN's invitation.” https://t.co/ijNfCc7lD7
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) August 19, 2019
Yang claimed that he believed that it was “too late” to avoid many of the effects of climate change, and that in addition to efforts to mitigate the effects, the government needed to work to move people toward higher ground as a result of rising sea levels. The author of The Atlantic piece said that this argument — which hinges on his core campaign proposal to provide all Americans with $1,000 a month — was dangerous, and a bad example of climate change adaptation policy.
Notably, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who has focused his campaign primarily on climate change issues, did not make the cut to participate in the CNN event. Per RealClearPolitics, the Washington governor is currently polling near zero percent.
The town hall is scheduled for September 4, and is expected to be moderated by CNN journalists Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon.