The House Climate Solutions Caucus
The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives working on solutions to climate change. The caucus has a counterpart in the Senate: the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus.
What is the House Climate Solutions Caucus?
The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives working on solutions to climate change. The caucus was originally formed in 2016 by Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, both from Florida. Today, the Climate Solutions Caucus is chaired by Rep. Andrew Garbarino, a Republican from New York, and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.
The caucus identifies itself as a group of representatives “who are working together to combat climate change while also protecting the economic prosperity of the United States. This is a group dedicated to building a constructive dialogue about climate change, economics, energy, and conservation among Members of Congress, global leaders, environmental organizations, and business leaders.”
For more information, see CCL's statement on House Climate Solutions Caucus relaunch in July 2023.
Who is in the House Caucus?
The membership of the Climate Solutions Caucus is listed on the caucus website. The caucus grows in a “Noah’s Ark” bipartisan fashion by bringing Republicans and Democrats on board in pairs to work together on climate legislation.
While CCL encourages and celebrates caucus membership, we do not determine or control who joins the caucus. Membership is up to representatives themselves and the caucus co-chairs.
Why does CCL support the House Climate Solutions Caucus?
The Climate Solutions Caucus provides an important avenue to aid in the mission of depoliticizing discussions about how to address our changing climate. It provides a forum where members of the House—some of whom disagree with each other—can sit together in a safe space and engage in respectful discussions. This depoliticization is critical to the ultimate success of legislation to address climate change.
The caucus makes it safe and politically smart for elected officials from both parties to talk about and then implement climate solutions. The caucus gives its members a platform to talk about the issue, educate their constituencies, and show the benefits of climate action. Joining the caucus is like grabbing the first rung on a ladder. If members of Congress receive enough support for grabbing the first rung, they will be motivated to grab the next rung and the next one, eventually supporting major climate legislation.
What is the relationship between CCL and the House Climate Solutions Caucus?
CCL was instrumental in helping form the original Climate Solutions Caucus in 2016. You can read about those efforts on CCL’s blog.
Since then, CCL has helped grow caucus membership by bringing MOCs to the table through the requests of constituents within their congressional districts. Now that the caucus has existed for several years, CCL is pressing the caucus for even more ambition and action.
Has the House Climate Solutions Caucus made an impact?
Yes, the caucus has made an impact. By reaching 90 members in the 115th Congress, the caucus made huge strides in making climate change a safe, smart topic for legislators of both parties to discuss.
Here are a few examples of concrete actions caucus members have taken in the past:
- A bipartisan group of six caucus members sponsored the “Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018” to spur innovation in areas needed to combat climate change.
- Many caucus members spoke out against offshore drilling in January of 2018.
- Twelve House Republicans, eight of whom were caucus members, signed a letter to congressional leadership opposing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Ten caucus members spoke on the House floor about climate change and the need for bipartisan action.
- The caucus held a meeting discussing the economic impacts of climate change on the outdoor and tourism industries.
- The caucus voted as a bloc to defeat an anti-climate amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act.
- A bipartisan pair of caucus members introduced the “Climate Solutions Commission Act” cosponsored by 10 other caucus members.
Building consensus in Congress takes time and is an incredibly valuable process. The caucus has helped build that consensus that we should be persistently encouraging, rather than being cynical or suspicious.
Has the House Climate Solutions Caucus endorsed the Energy Innovation Act?
No, the Climate Solutions Caucus has yet not endorsed any legislation in the current Congress. However, members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus have historically shown support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. All 10 sponsors of the original Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 were caucus members.
Why is bipartisanship so important?
Bipartisan is best. We get better, longer-lasting solutions with both parties at the table. Climate change is bigger than partisan politics. The considerable number of Republicans that have participated in the Climate Solutions Caucus is proof that climate change doesn’t have to be a partisan issue. Climate change needs lasting legislative action and research demonstrates that when you look at what caused the public to change their opinions between 2002-2010, the most important factor was elected officials’ stances on the issue. (Brulle, Carmichael, and Jenkins, 2012; and updated again in 2016) If Republicans and Democrats on the Climate Solutions Caucus produce a bipartisan bill, their joint solution is likely to stick. Our climate needs a durable solution that can be passed in this Congress and remain in place over further elections. It’s important for everyone currently in office to be moving forward on this issue, and the caucus helps them do that.
- Flannery Winchester
- Climate Solutions Caucus Home Page on CCL
- Rep. Garbarino’s Climate Solutions Caucus page
- CCL statement on House Climate Solutions Caucus relaunch in July 2023
- Climate Solutions Caucus House Floor Speeches
The resources above are specific to this training, see all resources associated with Lobbying Congress.