MADISON (WKOW) — Gov. Tony Evers today signed an executive order directing that all electricity consumed within Wisconsin be generated carbon-free by 2050.
The order directs the Department of Administration to create the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy.
The new office will be responsible for working in partnership with other state agencies and state utilities, achieve a goal of ensuring all electricity consumed within the State of Wisconsin is 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.
Governor Evers acknowledges that going carbon-free will take a lot of work.
“It’s an important step forward in combating climate change and promoting the development and use of clean energy across the state,” said Evers. “We recognize that this is only a first step along the long road.”
Local officials in Dane county are also collaborating to confront climate change.
Their efforts include solar development, renewable fuel usage, energy-efficient buildings and managing rainwater runoff.
Mayor Rhodes-Conway said she looks forward to working with the Governor’s office to achieve this goal.
“I applaud their goals to achieve zero-carbon generation and 100% clean energy by 2050, and the City of Madison looks forward to partnering on this initiative,” said Rhodes-Conway in a statement.
“Madison is working to reduce the carbon footprint of the City, with changes such as additional solar panels on City facilities, more electric vehicles, including buses and more efficient fuel sources. I agree with Governor Evers who said today that economic development and protecting our environment is not mutually exclusive. We can do both.”
The executive order reads:
EXECUTIVE ORDER #38
Relating to Clean Energy in Wisconsin
WHEREAS, climate change poses a serious threat to Wisconsin’s natural
resources, public health, communities, tourism, and economy;
WHEREAS, past research by the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change
Impacts has shown that by the middle of the century, statewide average annual
temperatures are likely to warm by 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit, and a recent report
from the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that under the current trajectory,
by 2050 Wisconsin could see two weeks per year of dangerous heat – with heat
indexes above 100 degrees – analogous to the current climate in states such as
Alabama and South Carolina;
WHEREAS, increasing instances of extreme weather events like flooding are
devastating Wisconsin communities. Research by the Wisconsin Initiative on
Climate Change Impacts shows that climate change is likely to cause a general
increase in precipitation across the state, with extended dry periods during the
summer and flooding during periods of heavy rain;
WHEREAS, climate change poses significant threats to communities that lack
the resources and geographic mobility to adapt to changes, including pronounced
threats to the cultural resources, economic vitality, and human health of Native
WHEREAS, protection of Wisconsin’s iconic agricultural, hunting, fishing, and
outdoor recreation opportunities remains critical to our heritage, quality of life,
economy, and ability to attract and retain businesses in diverse industries;
WHEREAS, the air emissions released as a result of fossil fuel combustion
cause a wide variety of adverse health impacts including asthma attacks,
pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, chronic and acute bronchitis, lower respiratory
ailments, upper respiratory ailments, heart attacks, neurological deficits, immune
system deficits, and cancer;
WHEREAS, Wisconsin sends, on average, more than $12 billion out of the
state each year to import fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, and petroleum;
WHEREAS, a transition to a clean energy economy will generate thousands of
WHEREAS, Wisconsin is a member of the United States Climate Alliance and
has pledged to support the carbon reduction goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord;
WHEREAS, our state has a responsibility to current and future generations of
Wisconsinites to act to prevent continuing damage to our climate and to invest in
solutions that help to mitigate the changes that have already occurred.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, TONY EVERS, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by
the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State, hereby:
1. Order the Department of Administration to create the Office of Sustainability
and Clean Energy.
2. The Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy shall be charged with the
a. In partnership with other state agencies and state utilities, achieve a
goal of ensuring all electricity consumed within the State of Wisconsin
is 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.
b. Ensure the State of Wisconsin is fulfilling the carbon reduction goals
of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
c. Develop a clean energy plan to assist the State of Wisconsin in
adapting to and mitigating the harm from climate change by using
clean energy resources and technology. The Office of Sustainability
and Clean Energy shall coordinate with the Department of Natural
Resources, the Department of Transportation, the Public Service
Commission, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection, other state agencies, Native Nations, local governments,
utilities, businesses, and other stakeholders to develop and
implement the clean energy plan.
d. Promote clean energy workforce training, in partnership with the
University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Technical College System,
private and non-profit workforce development programs and labor
organizations, and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension
e. Foster innovation, research, and business development within the
renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability sectors.
f. Develop energy efficiency, sustainability and renewable energy
standards for all new and existing state facilities, office buildings, and
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
my hand and caused the Great seal of the State
of Wisconsin to be affixed. Done at the Capitol in
the City of Madison this sixteenth day of August
in the year of two thousand nineteen.