That same week in Miami, a group of young Republicans carrying signs reading “This is what an environmentalist looks like” organized what was billed as the first rally for “conservative” climate action.
On Capitol Hill, Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House leader, plans to create a Republican task force on climate change, his team confirmed. Mr. McCarthy declined an interview request.
And on Wednesday, Curtis plans to announce the formation of the Conservative climate caucus, aimed at educating his party on global warming and developing policies to counter what the caucus calls “radical progressive climate proposals.” So far, 38 members of the Republican House have joined, its staff said.
“I hope any Republican in this caucus asked about the climate at a town hall will feel very comfortable talking about it,” Curtis said, adding: “I fear that too often Republicans just said what they don’t like without adding “but here are our ideas”.
These ideas include limited, free-market government policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as formulated by new conservative think tanks. One is C3 Solutions, which is co-led by a former aide to the late Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who called global warming “shit.” The organization also recently attracted an energy policy expert from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative group which, until recently, promoted harsh criticism of climate change.
A bundle of bills Mr McCarthy presented on Earth Day defended carbon capture, a burgeoning and expensive technology that captures carbon emissions generated by power plants or factories and stores them before they run out. escape into the atmosphere. He also encouraged the planting of trees and the expansion of nuclear power, a carbon-free energy source that many Republicans prefer over wind or solar power.
These policies would do little to reduce the fossil fuel emissions that raise average global temperatures and cause more extreme heat, drought and forest fires; more intense storms; and the rapid extinction of plant and wildlife species. Republicans have not proposed any specific emission reduction targets.