That same week, a group of young Republicans with signs saying “This is what an environmentalist sees” held an initial rally for “conservative” climate action in Miami.
On Capitol Hill, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy plans to set up a Republican task force on climate change, his staff confirmed. Mr. McCarthy declined an interview request.
And on Wednesday, Mr Curtis plans to announce the formation of the Conservative Climate Committee, which aims to educate his party about global warming and develop policies to counter what the committee calls “radical progressive climate proposals”. So far, 38 members of the Republican House of Representatives have joined, its employees said.
“I hope that any Republican member of this group, when asked about the climate in a community meeting, will be very comfortable talking about it,” said Curtis, adding, “I fear that too often Republicans simply have said “what you don’t like without adding ‘but here are our ideas’.”
These ideas include limited government, market-based policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions as formulated by new conservative think tanks. One of them is C3 Solutions, jointly run by a former advisor to the late Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who called global warming “crap”. The organization also recently recruited an energy policy expert from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative group that until recently promoted vocal critics of climate change.
A package of bills presented by Mr. McCarthy on Earth Day advocated carbon capture, an emerging and expensive technology that captures and stores carbon emissions generated by power plants or factories before they are released into the atmosphere. It also encouraged tree planting and the expansion of nuclear power, a carbon-free energy source that many Republicans prefer to wind or solar power.
These measures would do little to reduce fossil fuel emissions, which raise average global temperatures and cause more extreme heat, drought and forest fires; stronger storms; and rapid extinction of plant and animal species. Republicans have not offered any specific emissions reduction targets.