MADISON — After attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid earlier this month, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes called for collective action to address the climate crisis and the detrimental impact it is having on Wisconsin, especially on the heels of President Trump officially withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord.
“It’s unfortunate that our federal government chooses to be so reckless and negligent about an issue that’s threatening the health and livelihood of us all,” Lt. Gov. Barnes said. “We have a lot to lose in Wisconsin and we’re missing out on economic opportunity if we don’t begin transitioning to a cleaner economy. That’s why it’s more important now that ever for state and local leaders, along with businesses, to step up and tackle the climate crisis with ambition and urgency.
Lt. Gov. Barnes, who purchased carbon offsets for his travel using personal funds, attended COP25 as part of a delegation of over 70 American leaders. There, he met with U.S. businesses to begin the dialogue on how business and government can work together to meet clean energy goals, met with foreign dignitaries to explore opportunities for cooperation, and spoke out about the actions he and Gov. Evers are taking to address the climate crisis.
The lieutenant governor also joined the U.S. Climate Alliance in releasing their annual report, which highlights that Alliance states are within the reach of the Paris goals and on track to reduce our emissions 20-27 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Governor Evers joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, shortly after taking office earlier this year.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change remain a high priority of the administration. Lt. Gov. Barnes will be hosting the first meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change later this week. The task force is comprised of individuals from throughout the state representing various industries including agriculture, small business, utilities, and Indigenous communities. They are charged with providing policy recommendations to Gov. Evers in August of 2020.