President Donald Trump has, predictably, been a menace in the global fight to tackle the climate crisis. In recent months he’s rolled back offshore drilling safety measures; smoothed the way for new oil and gas pipelines; and opened up wildlife zones to fossil fuel extraction.
But a group of US state governors have pledged to not take the measures lying down. Known as the Climate Alliance, this bipartisan collection of 25 Governors — collectively representing “52% of the US population and 57% of the economy” — has committed to “real, on the ground action” to “urgently address the climate challenge.”
In particular, they pledge to:
- Implement policies to achieve The Paris Agreement, reducing emissions by at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025
- Promote clean energy at the state and federal level
- Track and report their progress to the global community.
One of the leading lights of the Climate Alliance is Tony Evers, the Democratic governor of Wisconsin.
He’s just made waves by promising to launch a “task force” to work out ways to cut climate pollution — even though it’s clear that the legislature in his state, controlled by Republicans, will inevitably push back against it.
The Guardian reports that in establishing the task force, Evers described the climate crisis as a “grave threat to the health, safety and economic wellbeing of people and communities throughout the state of Wisconsin.”
My administration is turning the tide on how we approach climate change in this state. For too long leaders have ignored it or denied it, and frankly, we can’t afford to continue that trend. We need to build a sustainable future for the state of Wisconsin. https://t.co/F7bHcZHmYk
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) October 20, 2019
The task force will produce recommendations within a year on how to limit pollution and address extreme weather conditions. As there’s no timetable for implementation, it will then be on the Governor’s team to convince the public to support the proposals — and to pressure their representatives in the legislature.
“I want us to get back to a place where we look at our manufacturing roots here in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin’s task force leader, Mandela Barnes, told the Guardian. “Where we’re building wind turbines, we’re building solar panels. That should honestly get Republicans excited as well – I don’t see why they’re so reluctant to ignore the largest sector of opportunity in the economy.”
The task force has been praised by Xcel Energy, one of the state’s power companies, which said the initiative makes “good business sense, good economic sense, and is the right thing to do.”