Nov 6, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Bipartisan delegation of U.S. lawmakers discuss bridging the political divide at COP26

Senator Chris Coons listens during an Atlantic Council event on day seven of the COP26 at SECC on November 06, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) listens during an Atlantic Council event on day seven of the COP26 summit on Nov. 6 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons led a bipartisan delegation of U.S. lawmakers to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where the first order of business was participating in a panel conversation about bridging the political divide on tackling a myriad of climate problems.

Driving the news: The delegation includes more than half a dozen Republican and Democratic lawmakers who intend to hold bilateral meetings with international counterparts as well as connect with President Biden’s climate envoy, former Secretary of State John Kerry.

  • Lawmakers in the delegation said more Republicans in Congress would like to work to mitigate the impact of climate change but the parties often have divergent ideas about what those solutions should look like.

What they're saying: "My name is John Curtis, and I'm a Republican ... and I'm at COP. How cool is that?" said the Utah lawmaker who chairs the Conservative Conservation Caucus during a panel event focused on clean energy innovation hosted by the Atlantic Council.

  • "This is not about the future. It's about our economy today, our well-being today, our mental health, and our physical health," said Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, a member of the Senate's bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which is co-chaired by Coons and Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana.
  • "The United States is back to leading the fight against climate change," Coons tweeted on Saturday, alongside a photo of him standing next to Kerry.

Of note: The delegation also includes Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.)

Go deeper: What to know about COP26 in Glasgow

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