On December 9, 2020, the State of Wisconsin released the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change Report. The Report is the outcome of Governor Evers’s October 2019 Executive Order creating a statewide task force and requiring the task force to “make recommendations to meaningfully address the effects of climate change and create a clean energy economy in Wisconsin.”
Lt. Governor Barnes, who led the task force, stated that “this report will lay the foundation for our state to begin tackling the climate crisis.” The report calls for emission reductions of 60 percent below 2006 levels by 2030. The task force then provides a set of 55 climate solutions, covering the topics of Climate Justice and Equity, Energy, Transportation, Agriculture, Resilient Systems, Clean Economy, Education, Food Systems, and Forestry. It also identifies policy pathways to achieve each goal, either through Executive Actions, the 2021 State Budgets, or Legislation.
One key recommendation, also included in the Wisconsin Public Service Commission budget request, expanding the Focus on Energy Program. This program uses funds collected from investor-owned utilities to invest in energy-efficient and renewable generation. The recommended doubling of Focus on Energy budget could provide $100 million in new funds for these investments.
Wisconsin ensured that the public and stakeholders had the opportunity to provide comments on the task force’s recommendations. Dozens of stakeholder meetings, listening sessions, and subcommittee meetings were held, with over 1,000 Wisconsinites participating and over 500 comments received through an online portal.