1. Update
  2. Environment & Energy

What’s Next for the Climate Solutions Caucus?

By Emily Wirzba, November 27, 2018

The recent midterm elections gave us new reasons to hope that Congress will pursue policies to curb the harmful effects of climate change. The election of new members with professional scientific backgrounds, and members who campaigned on a climate platform, brings important momentum to addressing the issue.

The election has also led to what some see as a setback to bipartisanship on climate change. The House Climate Solutions Caucus will only see 21 of its 45 Republican members return in the 116th Congress, and there will be a notable absence with the loss of Rep. Carlos Curbelo, co-founder and co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus.

Despite these changes, bipartisan action on climate change remains a priority for FCNL in the 116th Congress. Any path to passing climate legislation through both chambers at the federal level must include members from both political parties. And the large number of environmental regulatory rollbacks from the past two years demonstrates that congressional legislation is essential to create policy changes that can withstand the test of time.

The House Climate Solutions Caucus remains dedicated to seeking bipartisan solutions to climate change and environmental degradation. Already, a number of the returning Republican caucus members have publicly re-committed to these goals, including Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08).

While we still are waiting to see who will serve as the new Republican co-chair with Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-19), there have already been public comments made from Climate Solutions Caucus members from both parties on the need for stricter membership and participation requirements. We are eager to continue our work to ensure that the Climate Solutions Caucus advances serious legislative proposals on climate change and remains committed to bipartisan dialogue and relationship-building.

Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue this work. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest special report makes all too clear, we have a small window of time to advance policy solutions that are urgently needed to protect vulnerable communities and reduce the volume of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.

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.