1. Statement
  2. Environment & Energy

FCNL Applauds Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act

By Emily Wirzba


On February 15th, the bipartisan Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018 was introduced in Congress by Reps. Dan Lipinski (D, IL-03) and John Faso (R, NY-19), both members of the Climate Solutions Caucus.

The bill, H.R. 5031, would establish a Department of Energy “Climate Solutions Challenges” program to fund clean energy prize competitions with direct benefits to the climate. These prize competitions have yielded major technological advances in the past. For example, the DOE L Prize – designed to spur innovation to replace the common incandescent light bulb – revolutionized LED light bulb technology that is now universal today.

The legislation takes advantage of existing federal prize authority (under the America COMPETES Act) to spur much-needed innovation to address climate change. Specifically, the program would fund prizes in carbon capture, energy efficiency, energy storage, climate resiliency, and data analytics to better understand climate or weather, or to better inform the public.

FCNL’s Legislative Representative for Sustainable Energy and Environment, Emily Wirzba, stated: “The Friends Committee on National Legislation applauds the introduction of Rep. Lipinski and Rep. Faso’s bipartisan Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018. Innovative solutions will be a crucial part of mitigating climate change, making our communities more resilient, and being good stewards of God’s Creation. There is a growing need for research, development, and deployment of new renewable energy technologies, and this bill is an important step.”

FCNL thanks Reps. Lipinski and Faso for their support of innovative solutions to address climate change, as well as the other original co-sponsors, Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D, FL-07), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Charlie Crist (FL-13), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), all members of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

Emily Wirzba

  • Legislative Representative, Sustainable Energy and Environment

Emily Wirzba leads FCNL’s lobbying work to achieve bipartisan recognition of climate change and action in Congress. Emily meets with members of Congress and their staff to promote FCNL's environmental priorities. She also works closely with FCNL's network across the country to organize constituents to lobby, write, and advocate for bipartisan environmental action in Congress. She currently serves as co-chair of the Washington Interreligious Staff Community's Energy and Ecology Working Group.