WASHINGTON – On Thursday, members of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus met with Bill Gates, founder of Breakthrough Energy and author of the recently-released book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, and David Barron, chairman of the ICCF Group, to discuss the path to net-zero emissions and how the public and private sector can work together to accelerate clean energy innovation.
“For the U.S. to compete globally and meaningfully address climate change, we need to invest in clean energy technologies and new partnerships that will keep us on the cutting edge,” said Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus. “With countries like China surpassing the United States in investments in R&D, I was glad to hear from Bill Gates and David Barron about how we can facilitate public-private partnerships that will advance energy innovation and help us meet our ambitious emission reduction targets.”
“For too long, Washington has been paralyzed by partisan gamesmanship, unable to have productive conversations about climate solutions that harness the innovation of the private sector. The bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus is about having real conversations about protecting our environment, securing American’s energy future, and protecting American jobs, and today’s conversation about encouraging public-private partnerships and energy innovation was a great example,” said Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.), co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus.
“Investing in innovative technologies will be critical to addressing the climate challenge. And, in order to get to net-zero emissions by 2050, we have to not only invest in emerging clean energy solutions, but also adopt an enduring American climate policy that limits climate pollution, accelerates the use of existing technologies, like wind and solar, and builds resilience by investing in our natural infrastructure. I'm pleased to be part of a group that is looking for creative private and public solutions to one of our most pressing challenges,”said Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
“Climate change has serious implications for the livelihoods of many people across Maine, including fishermen, farmers, and those who are employed in our forest products industry,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). “Last year, Congress passed the BEST Act I authored to expand energy storage technology, which will complement our efforts to boost renewable energy. Today’s conversation focused on other commonsense steps we can take to help reduce harmful greenhouse gases is critical to ensure future generations are able to enjoy our environment.”
“The impacts from climate change touch all sectors, all people, and all parts of the world in differing ways, and Alaska knows that firsthand. We made considerable headway with my Energy Act, which focuses on innovation as a key pillar to ensuring an all-of-the-above supply of energy while also reducing the impacts of climate change, but there’s more that we must do,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “I appreciated having the opportunity to continue a dialogue with Bill Gates, who has been a partner in energy as I’ve advocated for more innovation in the energy sector – whether it be nuclear energy, carbon capture utilization and sequestration, or deployment of renewable energy. I look forward to continuing to work with him and the Climate Solutions Caucus to advance additional commonsense climate policies.”
“Wonderful seeing so many Senators engaged in this open, bipartisan exchange,” said David H. Barron, chairman of the ICCF Group. “Investing in our infrastructure and making energy cleaner and cheaper begins with important conversations like these. I hope this will result in similar investments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to stop deforestation and to increase forest restoration for the benefit of people, agriculture, industry, and biodiversity.”
The Climate Solutions Caucus promotes bipartisan discussion about climate policy and advocates for Congress to play a central role in addressing the challenge. Since launching in late 2019, the caucus has held regular meetings with a variety of stakeholders to discuss their concerns and priorities for federal climate policy and opportunities for collaboration.
Members of the caucus include: Senators Coons, Braun, Bennet, Collins, Murkowski, Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Angus King (I-Maine), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). For more about the caucus’ activities, please visit the caucus website here.