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Evers to be First Midwest Governor to Join U.S. Climate Alliance’s Executive Committee PDF Print E-mail
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Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 09 May 2024 16:20

clean-energy-2022The Alliance was formed in June 2017 in response to former President Donald Trump’s announced intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.


MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, long-time member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, announced today he is joining the Alliance’s executive committee, which oversees the strategic direction of the bipartisan coalition of governors. Gov. Evers will be the first governor from the Midwest to join the Alliance leadership since its inception.

tony-evers-2022“The climate crisis has taken an undeniable toll on folks and communities in every corner of the country, including here in Wisconsin. No matter where they live, every Wisconsinite has experienced the effects of climate change—from air and drinking water pollution to extreme weather events to unpredictable growing seasons,” said Gov. Evers. “I was proud to join the U.S. Climate Alliance back in 2019, and today, I’m glad to be joining the leadership team. I can’t wait to get to work building on our momentum to achieve our collective climate goals, protect our natural environment, create family-supporting jobs in a clean energy economy, and ensure a better future for our kids across our country.” 

The governor’s work on the executive committee will build on his administration’s efforts to date and help advance equitable solutions to environmental challenges facing the state and nation, build a transformed, more resilient, clean-energy economy, and ensure a more sustainable future for all.

Gov. Evers in 2019 joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors representing nearly 60 percent of the U.S. economy and 55 percent of the U.S. population. The U.S. Climate Alliance is committed to securing a net-zero future in America by advancing state-led, high-impact climate action solutions and achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

The Alliance was formed in June 2017 in response to former President Donald Trump’s announced intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. By joining the Alliance, governors commit to working to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius through four key commitments:

  • Reducing collective net GHG emissions at least 26-28 percent by 2025 and 50-52 percent by 2030, both below 2005 levels, and collectively achieving overall net-zero GHG emissions as soon as practicable and no later than 2050;
  • Accelerating new and existing policies to reduce climate pollution, build resilience to the impacts of climate change, and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal levels;
  • Centering equity, environmental justice, and a just economic transition in their efforts to achieve their climate goals and create high-quality jobs; and
  • Tracking and reporting progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement.


In addition, it was announced that New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham have been appointed co-chairs of the Alliance. This will also be the first time the Alliance will be led by two women co-chairs. Together with the co-chairs, Gov. Evers will serve on the Alliance’s executive committee with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and California Governor Gavin Newsom. The Alliance’s leaders were elected by coalition members and will serve in these roles until the Alliance’s semiannual meeting next spring.

EFFORTS OF EVERS ADMINISTRATION TO ADVANCE CLIMATE RESILIENCE AND GOALS OF THE U.S. CLIMATE ALLIANCE

clean-hydrogen-economyAlong with joining the U.S. Climate Alliance in 2019, during his first year in office, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #38, creating the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, charged with developing the Wisconsin Clean Energy Plan to promote the development and use of clean and renewable energy across the state, advance innovative sustainability solutions that improve the state’s economy and environment, and diversify the resources used to meet the state’s energy needs. The order also established the state’s goal to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 and charged the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy with ensuring the state is fulfilling the carbon reduction goals of the Paris Agreement. In October 2019, the governor also signed Executive Order #52, creating the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, which advised and assisted the governor in developing strategies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change for the benefit of all Wisconsin communities.

In April 2023, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #195, which created the Green Ribbon Commission on Clean Energy and Environmental Innovation to advise on creating the state’s first-ever Green Innovation Fund. The Green Innovation Fund will be the first environmental and clean energy fund in Wisconsin. Commonly referred to as “green banks,” similar public and private entities have been established in other states, including Colorado, Illinois, and Nevada. Both the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change and the state’s Clean Energy Plan recommend the state of Wisconsin evaluate options for a “green bank” to support the development and deployment of next-generation environmental and clean energy technologies and projects in Wisconsin, helping to create jobs and reduce energy costs for families and businesses.

clean-airAdditionally, on Earth Day 2021, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #112, joining the global Trillion Trees Pledge and committing to plant 75 million new trees in rural and urban areas and conserve 125,000 acres of forest in Wisconsin by the end of 2030 in collaboration with public, private, and non-governmental partners. This year on Earth Day, the governor announced that the state is increasing its Trillion Trees Pledge planting goal from 75 million trees by the end of 2030 to planting 100 million trees by the end of 2030. Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also released the Wisconsin Trillion Trees Pledge 2023 Annual Report, which shows Wisconsin has planted more than 32 million trees since Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #112 committing Wisconsin to the Trillion Trees Pledge, bringing the state more than 40 percent towards its goal just three years into the pledge. With the increased pledge to 100 million new trees, the pledge would enable the state to store and exchange a total of 4.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide per year in mature trees planted due to the state’s Trillion Trees Pledge alone. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in one year, a mature tree can store and exchange approximately 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

 
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