1. Background
  2. Environment & Energy

Addressing Climate Disruption

By Jose Aguto


We envision a world where every person’s potential may be fulfilled, living and thriving in cities, towns, and communities pulsing in respectful balance with the ecosystems around them.

Climate disruption is the greatest challenge and opportunity of our lifetime. Addressing it requires a global economic effort greater than the Marshall Plan, and a collective movement of hearts, minds, hands, and feet as dedicated as the Civil Rights Movement.

We envision a world where every person’s potential may be fulfilled. We seek communities that thrive in respectful balance with the ecosystems around them.

The solutions to climate change are within and all around us.

The solutions to climate change are within and around us, in practice, in ideation, in strategic thinking, and in soulful yearning. We are humbled to join with so many others to work for a future of clean air, clean water, carbon-free energy, sustainably designed communities, biodiverse ecosystems, and sustainable harvests.

This sustainable, ecologically respectful future is to be created by all peoples, especially marginalized communities or those previously left behind. There will be economic opportunities that fulfill the potential of many more people than our existing systems allow. Agricultural systems will yield plentiful harvests through sustainable farming practices that put care for the land and farming communities first. Health and biodiversity of our natural resources and wonders will be prioritized, creating jobs and educating others about our collective obligation to care for this gift from the Creator.

To fully realize the movement into this future, a future that is economically greater than the Marshall Plan and as soulful and strategic as civil rights movement, we seek to play the following role, based on the following premises:

“Marshalling” the Climate Plan

We believe that the government must be a key player in the climate movement. By charter, the government is the only institution constitutionally designed and adequately resourced to serve the interest of the people. Neither corporations, non-profits, financial institutions nor faith traditions can or should play this role. Explicitly avoiding governmental solutions will exacerbate societal disorder and confusion at a time when civil dialogue, coordination, and collaboration across society are urgently needed.

As the U.S. government plays a leadership role in setting the global tone on climate change, action from the Executive Branch is not enough to signal the “Climate Marshall Plan.” The Clean Power Plan, which is the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, will reduce U.S. GHG emissions 26-28% by 2050, far short of the 80% reduction goal that most scientists view as the minimum needed to prevent catastrophic warming. Congressional legislation is vital.

Thus, the U.S Congress is the most crucial institution in the world needed to pivot our nation and world towards a sustainable future. However, Congress is the only significant institution in the world which fails to publicly acknowledge that climate change is already occurring, human caused, and merits action.

Fostering bipartisan political will to act on climate change is crucial, for regardless of any election outcome, a critical number of legislators from both parties will be needed to pass any significant legislation. Therefore, one of the most effective strategies for tipping the national and global ethos towards climate action is to cultivate a bipartisan political ethos in Congress. More partisanship and rancor is counterproductive. Our solution is found through seeking that of God in Everyone.

Uplifting the Collective Spirit

Guided by hope, humility, redemption, and love, we seek to foster constructive bipartisan dialogue and cooperation on climate solutions in Congress.

This work began with H. Res. 424, the “Gibson resolution,” which is the first official and positive statement by a group of elected Republicans on climate action since 2009. This resulted in the creation of three Republican or bipartisan working groups and caucuses in the Senate and House, most notably the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, whose members discuss market-based approaches to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, many House Republicans are taking pro-climate votes on legislation and amendments which are relatively modest from a climate perspective, but significant from a political one.

Many offices from both parties are exhausted and instinctively put-off by the vitriol and “gotcha” politics of the climate debate.

Many offices from both parties are exhausted and instinctively put-off by the vitriol and “gotcha” politics of the climate debate. We seek to foster a new approach, through bipartisan, confidential, and multi-sectoral conversations about climate solutions.

We also support climate legislation that at minimum holds harmless, peoples of color, low-income communities, and workers in impacted industries, and at best, promotes rapid reductions in greenhouse gases, builds climate resilient communities and ecosystems and creates fulfilling economic opportunities for everyone.

In a time when contempt, mockery, and distrust are predominant political themes, and polarization over climate policy is acutely felt, we feel moved to foster spaces within Congress where people can participate in reasoned conversation and view adversaries as friends-in-waiting. We believe, guided by Quaker tradition and leadings, that this is the most effective, efficient, and peaceable strategy for realizing the world we seek.

Jose Aguto

  • Legislative Secretary, Sustainable Energy and Environment

Jose Aguto advocates for national policies supporting the sustainable use and management of our Earth’s resources and ecosystems so that all may thrive. He leads the Sustainable Energy and Environment Program, which leads interfaith, non-partisan, grassroots and multi-sectoral efforts on climate disruption to promote bipartisan dialogue and solutions in Congress. It also seeks to facilitate stronger relationships and collaboration across different sectors of the climate movement.