11 Republicans vow to fight climate change

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Eleven House Republicans signed on to a resolution Thursday that recognizes humans have a role in causing climate change.

The resolution also endorses steps to combat global warming, though it stops well short of calling for specific solutions.

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Led by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), the lawmakers want the House to go on record to generally agree with the overwhelming consensus of scientists that human activity, through greenhouse gases, is warming the globe.

The resolution frames climate change as an issue of environmental stewardship, which it says has a long history in the United States.

They’re introducing the non-binding legislation a week before Pope Francis speaks to Congress. He is expected to call for action on climate change, following up on his encyclical earlier this year asking world leaders to fight global warming.

“The House of Representatives commits to working constructively, using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, to create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates, including mitigation efforts and efforts to balance human activities that have been found to have an impact,” the resolution reads.

Gibson said in a statement that the environment is extremely important to upstate New York.

“All too often, the conversation about appropriate and balanced environmental stewardship gets caught up in partisan politics,” he said. “Yet, this conversation is key to the preservation of our great country for generations to come, as important as ensuring we have fiscally responsible policies to secure our future.”

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), another sponsor, pointed to the unique effects of climate change in south Florida, where many cities are seeing frequent flooding.

“Our goal with this resolution is to shift the debate from whether climate change is real to what we can do to mitigate its effects,” he said.

The other members on the resolution are Reps. David Reichert (Wash.) Robert Dold (Ill.) Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Patrick Meehan (Pa.), Michael Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Ryan Costello (Pa.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.).

Most of the sponsors of the resolution come from swing districts and many are vulnerable to reelection challenges next year.