Environment

Tony Evers Leads Climate Crisis Fightback in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is one of 25 members of the Climate Alliance -- a group of US Governors pledging to make real change to tackle climate change in their states.

24.10.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo on urbanmilwaulkee.com
Photo on urbanmilwaulkee.com

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.

In July, the Climate Alliance, which includes California Governor Gavin Newsom and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, set out a ‘Clean Car Promise’ to protect residents from vehicle pollution.

 

Tony Evers

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.”

 

 

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.”

Since being elected in January 2019, Evers has also urged action on water quality and called together lawmakers to tackle gun violence.

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