June/July 2020 Director’s Note

Wisconsinites have the opportunity to provide input into the state climate plan through July 31st. The Governor’s Climate Change Task Force headed by Lieutenant Governor Barnes has been meeting since December 2019. They have until October 31, 2020 to make recommendations to Governor Evers about how Wisconsin will achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 fairly and equitably.

Governor Evers signed Executive Order #38 (EO) relating to clean energy in August that set a statewide goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 in order to improve Wisconsin’s economy, environment, public health, and resilience to climate change. The EO established the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy charged with creating and implementing a clean energy plan to meet the goals.

The underlying premise of the plan is one of environmental justice where a healthy environment and wellness are respected as a human right for all people and future generations regardless of identity. The Task Force is developing recommendations within three subcommittees: Healthy Communities and Strong Economy; Energy, Housing and Infrastructure; and, Land Use & Conservation.

Recommendations thus far cover a range of topics and detail. Some from the Energy, Housing and Infrastructure Subcommittee include:  promote strategies and programs that help low-income Wisconsinites increase the energy efficiency of their homes; use a proactive approach that both incorporates rate design, off-peak charging and data driven experience to efficiently match utility offering with customer expectations, and to ensure the broad benefits of EVs and EV load are equitably realized by all customers; net-zero commercial buildings by 2030 and residential buildings by 2040 (includes weatherization, energy generation, energy efficiency); and, reduce power sector net carbon emissions at least 60% by 2030 while allowing flexibility for utilities  to maintain reliable, resilient and cost-effective infrastructure.

To become informed about the issues and initial recommendations, previous meeting presentations and content are available for review on the Meetings page where you can view and link to upcoming Subcommittee or Task Force meetings too.

Sherrie Gruder