MADISON – Recognizing that climate change is the existential threat of this generation, Wisconsin Conservation Voters applauded Gov. Tony Evers and the Climate Change Task Force report released today and called for swift action on the recommendations.
Climate change is having an impact on our health, our economy, and our communities. This report is a comprehensive list of policies, from far-reaching to concrete, that provides Wisconsin opportunities to address climate change head-on.
The report is a list of recommendations the task force is making based upon input from the public and the work of the task force over the past year.
“As a task force member, it was heartening to get so much input from the public,” said Executive Director Kerry Schumann. “We heard over and over at all of the public hearings that people want to see the state move as quickly as possible to 100 percent clean energy and significantly reduce carbon emissions. And they want to ensure the transition is done in a just, equitable way.”
Schumann also praised the leadership Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes have demonstrated by creating the Climate Change Task Force and honoring their commitment to fight climate change at home in Wisconsin.
With many diverse stakeholders serving on the task force and more than a thousand people who testified at the public listening sessions, along with hundreds more who submitted comments, the report shows broad and deep support for moving Wisconsin toward a bold and equitable climate plan and future.
“We look forward to working with the governor’s office, the legislature, state agencies, and local governments to begin implementing these necessary policies,” said Government Affairs Director Jennifer Giegerich.
Click here for a copy of the report.
Wisconsin Conservation Voters is especially excited to see the following recommendations in the report:
- Establishing a carbon reduction goal for utilities of net carbon emissions 100 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This is in line with what other Midwest states are committing to, and many utilities have already made this commitment as well. Wisconsin Conservation Voters believes the state and local governments will be working to adopt policies that will allow us to meet this critical goal sooner if we make a firm commitment to it now.
- Increasing the Focus on Energy program from 1.2 percent to 2.4 percent of operating revenues, which results in an annual program budget increase of approximately $100 million. The Focus on Energy Program helps businesses and residential energy customers reduce their energy use through energy efficiency and conservation programs and products. The cheapest, cleanest energy is that which you never have to generate.
- Creating an Office of Environmental Justice. The impacts of climate change pollution fall unfairly on communities of color. Wisconsin should assess the health impacts of our current energy use for all of our communities and ensure future policies and investments do not leave any community behind.
- Increasing resources to local governments that are leading the charge on clean energy development and carbon reduction goals in Wisconsin.