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Young Republicans leaving GOP over lack of climate change action

As the GOP continues to neglect the issue of climate change, Republican college students who feel estranged by their party leaders have decided to take the matter of climate mitigation into their own hands.

According to CNBC report, in the past two years, 23 percent of Republicans under 30 have left for the Democratic Party.

College Republican groups from across the country have united to form the Students for Carbon Dividends, the first-ever student coalition to publicly support a national climate solution.

The group is backing a strategy called the Baker-Shultz carbon dividends plan. This climate solution promotes economic growth in a socially responsible way by issuing a carbon pollution tax that would not be paid to government agencies, but to Americans as monthly dividends.

Kiera O’Brien of Harvard University and Ben Zollinger of Yale University are among the 21  co-founders of Students for Carbon Dividends. Democratic and environmental groups have also join the coalition, which aims to motivate the GOP to restore its legacy of land and nature conservation and to become a world leader in climate mitigation.

In an article contributed to CNBC by O’Brien and Zollinger, they wrote:

“Unfortunately, today’s GOP forces its members to make a false choice between party and planet, to the detriment of both.”

“President Donald Trump is absolutely right about the need to create jobs, drive economic growth and promote competitiveness. But on climate, he is missing an opportunity to position America as the world leader for the next generation of energy technologies.”

O’Brien and Zollinger also wrote that Republicans “risk driving away the millennial generation that is the future of both parties.”

The Baker-Shultz plan is also supported by the Climate Leadership Council, which was co-founded by Fortune 500 companies such as fossil fuel organizations and environmental nonprofits. The Students for Carbon Dividends coalition expects to add tens of thousands more students to help strengthen its demand for national legislation to fight climate change.

Organizations can join the student coalition or endorse the carbon dividends solution here.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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