The Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, headed by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, has been meeting periodically since December 19, 2019.
Overall, the task force is charged with advising the governor in developing a strategy on climate change by:
- Evaluating the science surrounding the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin citizens and the environment.
- Reviewing actions on climate change already taken by local governments and Native Nations.
- Working with universities, tech colleges, and businesses on research and manufacturing of technologies.
- Hosting public hearings throughout Wisconsin.
- Consulting with Tribal Governments.
- Making recommendations to address climate change and create a clean energy economy in Wisconsin.
- Working with the Office of Sustainability & Clean Energy, which Gov. Evers created in Executive Order #38.
The task force divided their work among three sub-committees: Healthy Communities & Strong Economy, Land Use & Conservation and Energy, Housing & Infrastructure. Beginning in April, the three subcommittee have been remotely meeting to discuss recommendations, prioritize needs, watch stakeholder presentations, and listen to public comment. The public comment period ended on July 31.
Subcommittees are working through a process to prioritize recommendation. The subcommittees may not exclude any ideas which have been submitted, but rather to present them in two categories (items the governor can do by executive action and items which would require legislative action) and within those two categories group them as “high,” “medium,” and “low” in terms of priority. The subcommittee’s have also been reviewing recommendations through the lens of environmental justice, which is a priority for the Lt. Governor.
The task force plans to wrap-up on the subcommittee work in August and September and vote on the recommendations in early October. The task force is to deliver recommendations to Gov. Evers by October 30, 2020.