By Ben Schneider July 19, 2016

Defend Our Future, Environmental Defense Fund’s campaign to mobilize young people to change the conversation around climate change, held its first ever “Changing Climate: The Future of Climate Change Conversations in the Republican Party” roundtable luncheon today at the Republican National Convention. Held at the Ristorante Chinato in Cleveland, the event was attended by Republican officials, conservative thought leaders, young GOP leaders and select members of the press.

Some of the attendees included Alex Smith, National Chairman of the College Republican National Committee; Rachel Lamb, National Organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action; and Jared Barker, President of the Greater Cleveland Young Republicans. The event discussion focused on the importance of the United States pursuing policies that protect communities from climate change while growing the economy.

“Young people from across the political spectrum support action on climate change, and they want their elected leaders to stop the partisan bickering and start talking about solutions,” said Alicia Prevost, Director of Defend Our Future. “Climate change might not be taken seriously by top Republican leaders in 2016, but by lifting up the voices of young Republicans who care about this issue, we hope that party leaders will start focusing on climate solutions that will be good for our planet and the economy.”

“Climate change is an issue that clearly warrants attention for all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation,” said Christian Berle, Defend Our Future’s Conservative Outreach Director. “The leaders here today showed a commitment to finding a path forward on policies that both drive economic growth and protect the world we’ll leave future generations.”

In a new poll conducted last week by Defend Our Future and YouGov, 73% of young Republicans said they support the development of clean and renewable energy in order to transition away from fossil fuels.

Defend Our Future will hold another such roundtable event at the Democratic Convention next week.