These days, bipartisan collaboration sometimes seems impossible. But during National Clean Energy Week, Republicans and Democrats come together for meetings in Washington, D.C., and workshops across the country.
“National Clean Energy Week was started really as a place for both sides of the aisle to really get out of the politics and talk more about what are the solutions,” says event chair Heather Reams, executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.
She says attendees range from policymakers and industry groups to consumers, and their interests are diverse. Some are seeking business opportunities. Others are passionate about solving climate change. Some work in solar, and others in wind.
“It really allows a lot of people to get out of their silos and come together to solve problems together,” she says.
Reams says last year, it was rewarding to see people collaborate regardless of their politics.
“You couldn’t tell, really, who was a Republican and who was a Democrat on stage and in most of the presentations. Instead of that ‘red or blue’ issue, it really was a red, white, and blue issue for America,” she says. “The fact that we came together to discuss challenges and determine solutions, that we can continue a dialogue beyond National Clean Energy Week, is really exciting.”
This story originally appeared in Yale Climate Connections. It is republished here as part of EcoWatch’s partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.