1. Update

Senate Forms Bipartisan Climate Caucus

By Emily Wirzba, October 28, 2019


On Oct. 23, Sens. Christopher Coons (DE) and Mike Braun (IN) formed a bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the Senate. This caucus compliments the House Climate Solutions Caucus, first formed in 2016.

The Senate Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group of legislators that will meet regularly and be a place of open and honest dialogue surrounding climate change. They will discuss sustainable and economically-viable policy solutions to climate change and energy innovation. The caucus will admit an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, and will operate by unanimous consent, meaning that the caucus will act only when everyone agrees.

Emily Wirzba, Legislative Manager of Sustainable Energy and Environment at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), stated that “For too long, partisan conflict has blocked progress to genuinely address climate change. Any path to passing federal climate legislation must include members from both parties. It’s essential that Senators from across political lines join together to foster dialogue, relationship-building, and action on this urgent issue. FCNL applauds the important leadership shown by Senators Coons and Braun and we look forward to supporting the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus in the future.”

Both Senators believe that the conversation surrounding climate change has become too toxic, and the caucus will serve as a reset so that real progress can be made to what Senator Coons characterizes as “the most pressing issues of our time.”

At FCNL, we are excited to work with the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus and be a resource as Senators engage with this important issue. We cannot pass sustainable and comprehensive solutions without the support of members from both parties. We praise Sens. Coons and Braun for their initiative in addressing climate change and their attempt to depoliticize this critical issue.

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Background Climate Solutions Caucus in the 116th Congress 

The Climate Solutions Caucus has officially relaunched in this new Congress! The two co-chairs, Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19), hosted their first members meeting on June 20.

Background Fostering Bipartisan Action on Climate Change 

A Faithful and Moral Call to Conscience

The science is abundantly clear: climate change is human-caused, already devastating communities and habitats across the world, and will only get worse without global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is already contributing to more frequent and intense extreme weather events, sea level rise, drought, and species extinction.

Emily Wirzba

  • Legislative Manager, 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.