GLASGOW, U.K. – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), co-chair of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, led the first bipartisan congressional delegation to COP26 over the weekend. In addition to several bilateral meetings with officials from other countries, members of Senator Coons’ delegation met with former Vice President Al Gore and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. They also joined a bipartisan event hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center and Global Energy Center, and visited the Flexitricity Control Center, a facility focused on reducing emissions and aggregating energy demand for Scottish consumers.
On Saturday, at the Atlantic Council event entitled “Bridging the Divide on Climate – A Bipartisan Conversation with U.S. Legislators,” Senator Coons spoke alongside U.S. Representative John Curtis (R-Utah), chair of the Conservative Climate Caucus. The event consisted of a pair of panels with lawmakers discussing the topics of climate resilience, natural climate solutions, and the energy transition. It was organized with help from the American Conservation Coalition, a nonprofit that mobilizes young conservatives around environmental action. Other panelists included Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).
The panels on climate resilience and the energy transition were moderated by Benji Backer, founder of the American Conservation Coalition, and Randy Bell, Director of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center.
“I co-founded the Climate Solutions Caucus several years ago. A number of the members of the caucus are here with us. And our point across the fourteen members, seven Republicans and seven Democrats, is not that we agree on every policy proposal,” Senator Coons said at the Atlantic Council event. “But that we agree that the climate is changing, and that human action is contributing to it, and we need to find sustainable solutions.” Senator Coons also celebrated the potential of bipartisan solutions, highlighting the recently-passed $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a historic bipartisan bill that will invest $73 billion in energy efficiency, deployment and innovation and $47 billion in climate resilience solutions.
On Saturday, Senator Coons and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) also joined USAID Administrator Samantha Power, Power Africa Coordinator Mark Carrato, Bezos Earth Fund President & CEO Andrew Steer, and Rockefeller Foundation Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff Liz Yee in delivering remarks to celebrate the signing of an MOU for $10 billion in climate finance that will expand access to renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa.
On Sunday, Members of the delegation toured the Flexitricity Control Center in Edinburgh and heard from leaders of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and the H100 Fife hydrogen project. Flexitricity, a Scottish renewable energy provider, works to improve energy security and cut energy costs by providing clean electricity during times of high demand.
In an NBC Nightly News segment aired Monday, Senator Coons appeared alongside Senator Murkowski and spoke about the U.S. commitment to combatting climate change.