CBS4's Bobeth Yates reports on the unconventional message was from the group Miami Young Republicans, who pointed to science and climate change impacts they are seeing locally.
- Saturday was World Environment Day, and a group has gotten together to address climate change and conservation. It's called the American Conservative Climate Rally, and it's the first of its kind event hosted by Miami Young Republicans. CBS 4's Bobeth Yates has more.
BOBETH YATES: Well, the rally here at Bayfront Park may be over, but the group had one clear message saying that conservatives need to own the issue of climate change. And one at the other, state and local Republicans spoke about the issue.
- Today, conservatives are reclaiming our seat at the environmental table once again.
BOBETH YATES: It isn't the traditional message you hear from Republicans, but it was the point the Conservative Republicans wanted to get across at Saturday's climate change rally. This group says, they want to set the record straight, that they're concerned about climate change.
JULIANNA STROUTS: My city is directly in Biscayne Bay, one of the only municipalities that we see on a day-to-day basis what happens with our waters, so I don't know how you can ignore it. And I can't speak on what everyone says, but I know that we want to be able to be that positive motion moving forward.
BOBETH YATES: To highlight the effort moving forward, the group touted their climate change friendly legislation, like restoring the Everglades and Biscayne Bay, and they say, their movement will continue.
VINCE LARGO: My home has run on solar for the last five years. I drive an electric car, and I passed some of the most stringent legislation in regards to climate change, sustainability, and environmental stewardship in the state of Florida, not the country. So what I'm trying to do today is get people engaged in the topic no matter what party you're involved in.
BOBETH YATES: Organizers say, that effort includes American innovation versus what they called the traditional Democratic approach which they say, includes additional regulations and red tape.
- Millions of Americans across this country have been wrongfully led to believe that there is only one side of the aisle that cares about the environment and that the other side does not. But you know, I know, and we all know that that's not the case.
BOBETH YATES: But there were those in attendance that disagreed. Some held signs protesting saying that climate change isn't real. Others verbalized their concerns. Still, those in attendance were excited that the issue of climate change has moved beyond partisan lines.
- I really want to see what conservatives have to say about this. I know traditionally hasn't been really their issue to really speak about, so I'm just interested to see their perspective and how a free market would work.
- Well, it appears officials say, after making history on Saturday with the first ever Conservative Republican Climate Change Rally, they will now move forward to have the first ever Conservative Republican Climate Change Summit set for next year right here in South Florida.