Press Release: Gov. Evers Celebrates Launch of New Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers Celebrates Launch of New Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin
Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin will leverage combined strength of members to advance equitable decarbonization, job creation, and economic development efforts
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today joined a broad-based group of climate, energy, environmental justice, and conservation organizations, businesses, and allies in Milwaukee to celebrate the official launch of the new Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin (CECW).

“Today, we have an historic opportunity to define Wisconsin as a clean economy state—to build a workforce, economy, and state that’s prepared for the 21st century, reduce reliance on out-of-state energy sources and lower energy bills for working families, and create new jobs and apprenticeships in innovative industries,” said Gov. Evers. “Now is the time for us to double our efforts to build the future we want for our state, and I’m so excited for the role the Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin is going to play in our efforts to do just that.”

The CECW seeks to leverage the combined strength of its members to enhance the quality of life of all Wisconsinites by accelerating the state’s transition to a clean energy economy. Founding members of the Coalition include Action for the Climate Emergency, Audubon Great Lakes, Clean Wisconsin, Elevate, The Nature Conservancy, RENEW Wisconsin, Sierra Club Wisconsin Chapter, Slipstream, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Walnut Way Conservation Corp., Wisconsin Health Professionals for Climate Action, and Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association.

“As a Coalition, our priority is to achieve statewide decarbonization by 2050 through people-first policies that create jobs for Wisconsin workers, build healthier communities and protect our natural resources,” said Sam Dunaiski, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin. “We know that together, we can advance clean energy solutions that accelerate economic development, while increasing Wisconsin’s energy independence.”

Though the CECW formally launched today, members have been working together for years to advance Wisconsin’s clean energy policy.

“We’re here to meet an historic moment,” said Jennifer Giegerich, Government Affairs Director for Wisconsin Conservation Voters. “Wisconsin has a proud tradition of environmental stewardship. From the original Indigenous stewards to the birthplace of Earth Day, Wisconsin’s legacy is rooted in conservation and stewardship. And the current combination of local action, state leadership, and federal opportunity is allowing us to embark on a new era for Wisconsin’s people, environment, and economy.”

The Coalition’s 2023 policy agenda is built upon six core pillarsthe tenets of a clean economy.

Healthy economy
A robust economy is necessary to move our state forward. The CECW supports efforts and policies that ensure households’ health, jobs, and choices for tomorrow are better than they are today. 

Environmental justice and infrastructure
The CECW puts racial and economic justice at the center of its work because there are can’t-wait communities already experiencing the impacts of climate change. The CECW aims to be the bridge between the lived experiences of climate and energy consequences and the arenas where policy decisions are made. 

Carbon-free power
The CECW shapes and advocates for policies that support a 100 percent carbon-free state by 2050. The CECW supports energy freedom through increased access to clean power, allowing new sources of clean and renewable power generation to be a part of the state’s clean economy future. 

Home and building repair
The CECW advocates and acts for policies to achieve 100 percent zero carbon new residential and commercial buildings by 2030 and to facilitate the reduction of building sector energy use by 50 percent by 2030. The CECW will work to phase out the use of natural gas in existing homes and businesses to prioritize retrofitting and weatherization and to reduce the energy burden on households who can least afford it. 

Thriving landscapes
Wisconsin’s economy relies on thriving landscapes that support productive agriculture, resilient cities, and valued natural areas. The CECW will advocate for natural climate solutions that protect land and water while providing economic growth to both rural and urban communities. 

Next-gen transportation
The CECW works with partners across all sectors to ease the road for the transition to electric and low-carbon transportation, advocating and acting to make the transition to electric vehicles cost-effective, easy, and equitable, with a goal of over 50 percent of new car sales being electric by 2030. 

“We believe we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to accelerate our state’s transition to a clean economy,” said Matt Kruger, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association. “There’s so much about the identity of our state that’s tied to our rural heritage and agriculture, which has been in flux over the last few decades. We are advocating for natural climate solutions for both rural and urban communities to help spur our state’s economy.”

Gov. Evers has been a leader in combatting the climate crisis and is committed to building a clean energy economy in Wisconsin. From joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, to creating the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change to releasing the state’s first-ever Clean Energy Plan, which many of the partners behind the CECW played a role in building, Wisconsin continues to advance towards a clean energy economy under Gov. Evers’ leadership. The governor’s 2023-25 biennial budget proposal builds on this work and includes several provisions recommended by the state’s Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy and the Clean Energy Plan. Implementing the state’s Clean Energy Plan is expected to lower energy bills for families, reduce reliance on out-of-state energy sources, invest in job and apprenticeship training, and create more than 40,000 jobs by 2030. In addition, this plan also supports the governor’s ambitious commitment to making Wisconsin’s electricity production 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.  

Gov. Evers’ 2023-25 budget proposal includes many key investments in building a clean energy economy, promoting clean energy production and energy efficiency, and supporting and creating jobs in the clean energy sector. The governor’s budget invests in building the state’s clean energy workforce, increases funding for the state’s Focus on Energy program, and supports small businesses in the clean energy sector and local communities in resiliency planning efforts. Additionally, the governor is proposing key initiatives to build out Wisconsin’s electric vehicle charging station network to accelerate the deployment and adoption of electric vehicles in Wisconsin, lowering emissions and improving air quality for all Wisconsinites.

More information regarding the governor’s proposals to protect and conserve Wisconsin’s natural resources and promote a clean energy economy and workforce is available here.   

More information about the Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin, its members, and its policy goals is available here.

An online version of this release is available here.