Madison: At a News Conference at the State Capitol today, Citizen Action of Wisconsin joined State Representative Supreme Moore Omokunde and State Senator Chris Larson to unveil the a framework for what will be the first comprehensive legislation ever introduced in Wisconsin or in the Upper Midwest to actually meet the international climate targets needed to avert catastrophic climate change. See the entire news conference on WisconsinEye here.
When combined with Governor Evers’ Clean Energy Plan, and President Biden’s commitment to winning transformational climate change investments at the federal level that direct 40% of the benefits to marginalized communities, this legislative package is another sign that a critical mass of leaders are serious about meaningfully addressing the climate crisis in a way that improves equity. We are hopeful that other legislative proposals at the necessary scale will be introduced, because no problem of this magnitude will be addressed by any one piece of legislation.
The Climate and Jobs Package will be the first legislative proposal that is up to the scale of the climate challenge. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that we face runaway climate change unless we start a bold transition very soon and achieve dramatic reductions in greenhouse emissions by 2030. The good news is that we have it well within our means to rapidly transition to a sustainable future that also generates greater opportunity for Wisconsin working families. It will also finally hold for-profit utilities accountable for doing their part.
The Climate and Jobs Package, which will be formally introduced in the next legislative session, will match the climate transition with a large-scale jobs program that will open the fast growing green economy to everyone in Wisconsin left out of good family supporting careers. Embracing a green conversion creates an unparalleled opportunity to address the 40 year decline in the availability of living wage jobs for everyone who wants one, especially those in marginalized urban and rural communities left behind by outsourcing and deindustrialization. The legislation when formally introduced will also assure a just transition for all the workers currently employed in the fossil fuel economy.
“It is long overdue for the Legislature to initiate a broad public discussion of reforms at the scale of the climate change and economic opportunity crisis in Wisconsin,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Wisconsin has it well within its means to address the climate challenge and open economic opportunity to all those who are being left out, if it can develop the political will to act boldly and decisively.”