Democrats are more likely to take steps in addressing climate change and get involved in related and relevant discussions compared to Republicans counterparts. Nevertheless, with Trump’s defeat in the November 2020 election, conservative behaviors and attitudes surrounding climate change have been changing, particularly among the younger set of Republicans.
In terms of climate activism, Millennials and Gen Zers are expected to take action addressing climate change regardless of party affiliation. According to a Pew Research, young adults also tend to be vocal when there is a need to talk about climate change.
According to opinion polls, Republicans who belong to the lower than 40 age group, are concerned about climate change. On the other hand, 65% of Republicans are baby boomers who do not believe climate change is an alarming issue.
Climate Change Views in the Post-Trump Era
Last year February, 25 Republican legislators convened in Utah together with environmental groups and youth party members to discuss a conservative approach in addressing the climate crisis. However, the meeting was meant to be secret as some of the Republican politicians promised to attend, only if they remain anonymous.
In the post-Trump Republican Party, climate change is still a sensitive conservative topic since the ex-US president refuses to believe that climate change has been taking place. In fact he has branded the climate change movement as a “hoax” that he withdrew the country’s support for the Paris Agreement.
Even Republican and right-wing media supporters help spread false information. They are saying that Biden’s main agenda in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in half, is to restrict and limit America’s meat consumption.
What Young Republicans are Doing to Support the Climate Change Movement
Utah Republican John Curtis formed a Conservative Climate Caucus last June, to which ⅓ of his party House colleagues signed up. They acknowledge how the boom of industrialization comes with a price as they declared change in the environment after a summer filled with wildfires.
This group is different from the Republicans who only counter climate change action but without putting forward suggested solutions.
There are Climate-Conscious Conservatives in Our Midst
Another group of young conservatives called the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) held the very first conservative rally calling for climate action in the country. However, the speakers had to raise their voices as a group of older men heckled that climate crisis does not exist.
ACC’s Chris Barnard highlights the promises of conserving wildlife and natural resources, and using technological innovation. These promises have been of interest to a lot of rural residents, particularly hunters and farmers, who according to Barnard, do not want to feel guilty about the degradation that has been happening to the planet. They be remain positive and not feel guilty about the collapse that is happening un the planet
Climate-conscious conservatives points out to invest in new technology that would reduce emissions, and to implement regulatory reform that would allow easier production of climate solutions and clean energy projects.
Some examples of natural climate solutions include using trees, preserving grassland and soil by using protective ground covering in construction sites, as well as to encapsulate and store carbon. Barnard suggests that instead of expecting the government to spend millions of dollars to solve the environmental problems, the market, specifically the entrepreneurs and manufacturers should be tasked to solve the environmental problems they created and propagated.