National park
(Photo credit: Jonathan Gill / Flickr)

Some people see climate change as a liberal cause.

But David Jenkins, president of the nonprofit group Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, says it should be a top priority for conservatives too.

Jenkins: “We have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of our environment and to protect the interest of future generations … and that’s what conservatism is about. It’s doing what’s responsible to protect society now and in the future.”

Jenkins says over the years, fossil fuel companies and far-right libertarians have pushed Republicans away from the issue. He says by doing so, they’ve left the issue to Democrats, some of whom call for solutions that many conservative lawmakers oppose, such as the Green New Deal.

Jenkins: “When we conservatives fail to engage constructively on the environment and fail to produce real solutions, then by default, all the proposed solutions come from the left.”

Jenkins says there are free-market approaches, such as putting a price on carbon pollution, that can reduce emissions and appeal to republicans.

So his group is working to persuade conservatives to lead the push for climate solutions.

Jenkins: “You don’t believe in climate change and try to do something about climate change as an exception to being a conservative. You do it because you’re conservative. It’s part of who you are.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.