These Republicans Believe Human Activity Causes Climate Change. Here’s What They’re Saying.

outdoor thermometer

(Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Something unusual happened in the halls of Congress April 20: a group of Republicans sat down with a group of Democrats to talk about potential solutions to climate change.

They met for the first time as members of the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, founded by Florida Reps. Ted Deutch (D) and Carlos Curbelo (R). The caucus currently has 10 members—five Republicans and five Democrats.

Though the vast majority of the House Republican caucus denies that human activity causes climate change, a small group of lawmakers are breaking with their party and seeking to discuss potential solutions to the problem.

Here’s what some of the attendees said at the first meeting:

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.): “What we want to do is have a sober, honest, sincere conversation about how we move forward. We think there are better alternatives than the regulations we’ve seen, although we understand something has to be done so certainly understand why some people are supportive of those actions. Our residents, our constituents want solutions.”

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.): “There are two issues that folks are not going to want to be on the wrong side of history… One is debt and the second is climate. This is something that is very constituent driven.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.): “It’s no longer a debate topic—the science is real and what is happening in our area [South Florida] will have serious detrimental impacts on our economy… This is about protecting property, protecting lives, creating jobs and making sure there’s a good future for our children…I think we’re going to pave the way for so many others who may be a little reluctant, because I know—I was there in the reluctant caucus—and we’ll help them along be part of our caucus.”