If you only casually follow the climate debate, you could be left with the impression that there are two camps sitting at opposite poles. You’ll read that on the right are “climate deniers” refusing to accept the conclusions of scientists and, on the left, “socialists” aiming to reorder our economic system. Through this lens, we have little hope of ever building enough consensus to solve the climate problem.
Fortunately, the vast majority of American voters represent a third camp—the camp that actually wants to get something done. Some 80% of voters now say it is important for a national climate policy to be bipartisan, according to a recent poll from Luntz Global.
This yearning for bipartisanship–which holds across all categories of voters–shouldn’t come as a surprise. With the rollback of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and other climate regulations by the Trump Administration, the American public has witnessed how fragile climate policy can be when it’s only supported by one party. The clear lesson: any durable solution must have buy-in across the political spectrum.
As public opinion has shifted, an odd-bedfellow coalition of large companies and leading environmental organizations has been working together these past two years to outline a national climate policy. Convened by the Climate Leadership Council, these stakeholders represent a wide range of industries and perspectives. They don’t agree on everything. But they share the belief that any solution should be grounded in common sense—and emerge from common ground. In other words, it must be bipartisan.
Don’t believe the hype. There is middle ground on climate policy, and it’s where the vast majority of voters sit. The carbon dividends solution proves it’s possible to create a climate solution where all sides win. Let’s make it the basis for a much-needed bipartisan climate breakthrough.